tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN August 13, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PDT
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use strzok's involvement on the special counsel's team to discredit the entire investigation. last month, strzok was grilled during a ten-hour congressional hearing. here's a reminder of the fiery exchange. >> i don't give a damn what you speesh agent strzok. i don't appreciate having an fbi with animus working on two major investigations in 2016. >> i think it's important you understand the context in which they were made and the things that were going on across america n. terms of the texts that we will stop it, you need to understand that was written late at night, off the cuff and it was in response to series of events that included then candidate trump insulting the immigrant family of a fallen war hero. and my prupgs presumption based on that horrible, disgusting behavior, that the american population would not elect somebody demonstrating that behavior to be president of the
united states. >> yeah. remember that? our crime and justice reporter is here to discuss this firing. do we know, was the firing the direct result from those text messages. we don't know, brooke. because the fbi essentially is not commenting on this. it is a question that certainly we have, certainly his lawyers are asking as to why he was fired and why he was fired on friday. according to his attorney, according to pete strzok's attorney, the office of professional responsibility which has been investigating peter strzok did not recommend that he be fired. in fact they said that a 60-day suspension and a demotion was what was appropriate in this case. his lawyers taking issue with the deputy director, the deputy fbi director, excuse me, who essentially fired him. he made the decision. he went ahead and fired peter strzok. now peter strzok's lawyers have issued a statement saying, quote, the decision to fire special agent strzok is not only
departure from typical bureau practice but also contradicts direct race testimony to congress and his assurance that the fbi intended to follow its regular process in this and all personnel matters. it goes on to say, this decision should be deeply troubling to all americans. no doubt, brooke, his attorneys, peter strzok's attorneys feeling this was political, that perhaps the fbi caved to the pressure from the president. because, as we know, he has been attacking peter strzok for quite some time. also important to know, this is now the third person, really when you think of this -- three people now that have been fired as a result this entire investigation. you have the former fbi director. you have the former deputy director, andrew mccabe. and now peter strzok. who knows who else will succumb. lisa page certainly has been under investigation. she has been to the hill, met with congress members. certainly, think about the
impact of this entire investigation on the personnel moves and the personnel of the fbi. >> you make great concerns. joining me jeff campbell, a former fbi special agent. listening in, do you think the fbi caved? do you think the texts were fireable offense? >> two parts. let's start with the second. was this a fireable offense? in a sense it was. what it takes to be removed, there is two aspects, performance and conduct. nobody is saying strzok was a bad fbi agent throughout his career. i know he had a reputation he was someone who was an excellent investigator. and then there is misconduct, a fireable offense. it is hard to say it is not a fireable offense. with respect to whether or not the fbi caved i don't think they did, i know the people that sit up there on the seventh floor
and make those decisions specifically dave bowditch. i know him to be a man of the utmost integrity. he doesn't serve at the pleasure of the president. he is a career employee. i think he weighed the facts and how they impacted the operations at the fbi. >> strzok was demoted, taken off of the mueller investigation. 60-day suspension. could it be as simple as the investigation had ended and simply, they fired him. >> it could be. i mentioned knowing the person who made this decision. it would be unfair for me to say trust me, i know this man, he made a tough call. he is a good person. but let's put ourselves in his shoes. on one hands you have allegations of serious misconduct. you talk about the text messages, talk about someone opening themselves up to this scrutiny by this conduct that was taking place. that's on one hand. then the person making the decision has the figure out how that's going to impact the investigation and what kind of message that signals to the
troops. then you have to look at the recommendation were the internal affairs division of the fbi which as you mentioned didn't recommend firing. they recommended a demotion. nevertheless, if you are the person in the top seat that is simply a recommend days ago. you have to look and say what do i think is the the gravity of these allegations. it is not a great day for the fbi. it's tough for peter strzok but it is a page being turned on the road to rebuilding confidence in the public in the fbi. >> agent peter strzok was just fired from the fbi, trump tweets, finally the list of bad layers in the d.o.j. and fbi gets longer and longer. based that strzok was in charge of the witch hunt, will it be dropped? no collusion, i just fight back. you were saying actually the president's tweets could help strzok if he tries to appeal his firing. tell me why had. >> absolutely. once the word first came out that strzok had been fired i
looked at my watch and knew it was only a matter of minutes before the president would weigh in and overplay his hand. obviously he has done this. we were expecting nothing less. this has been an unprecedented action in the history of the country where the president of the united states is actively going after a career civil servient. it's not only unprecedented. it's disgusting of it's destroying a norm that has been long held that the employees have the civil service protection, should remain outside of politics. but i think it helps strzok because if he does appeal, and i'm sure the decision makers at the fbi who decided to terminate had no question there would be some type of appeal. he being peter strzok will be able to look at the president's tweets did and say look the deck was stacked against me. you had the president of the united states, the commander in chief, who oversees the director of the fbi weighing in and saying nasty thing about me. how could i have gotten a fair shake here? i think that's what we can expect. >> josh campbell, thank you. good to see you.
from serves as an adviser to the person holding the highest office in the land to being called a low life by trump, former white house staffer omarosa manigault newman is out with another skrt recording this. time, she captured the president himself on tape. she released the audio ahead of the debut of her new salacious mostly unverified book. omarosa told nbc the clip is from 2017 and it appears the president is unaware his chief of staff john kelly has just fired her. listen. >> omarosa what's going on? i just saw on the news that you are leaving what happened. >> general kelly came to me and said that you guys wanted me to leave. >> nobody even told me about it. you know they run a big operation. but i didn't know it. i didn't know it. >> yeah. >> goddamn it. i don't love you leaving at all. >> just one day after another
bombshell release of a recording of the chief of staff, john kelly, the general's words are not as shocking as the fact that omarosa recorded him from the situation room in the white house, a room the white house describes as the nerve center for the president, a hub of intelligence gathering. it is within that room that omarosa recorded this. >> can i ask you a couple of questions? is the president aware of what's going on? >> let's not go down the road. this is a non-negotiable discuss. >> i don't want to negotiate. i never had tot chance to talk to you general kelly. this is my zpooe departure. i want the understand to understand. >> we can talk at another time. it has serious violation. i'll let it go at that. the staff and everyone on the staff works for me, not the president. >> after the president called her a low life over the weekend, the president repeated the
insult today as he explained the reasons he hired and then fired his former assistance who earned $180,000 a year according to public records. this is what the president tweeted, wacky omarosa who got fired three times on the apprentice now got fired for the last time. she never made it. never will. she begged me for a job, tears in her eyes. i said okay. people in the white house hated her. she was vicious but not smart. i would rarely see her but heard really bad things. nasty to people and would constantly miss meetings and work. when general kelly came on board he told me she was a loser and nothing but problems. i told him to try working it out if possible because she only said great things about me until she got fired. while i know it's quote not presidential to take on a low life like omarosa and while i would rather not be doing so this is a modern day form of communication and i know the fake news media will be working
overtime to make even wacky omarosa look as legitimate as possible. sorry. so that is the confirmation that omarosa was not among the, quote, unquote, best people that the president promised to bring on during the campaign trial. remember that line? >> we are going to make america great again. we are going to use your best people. >> i'm going to use the best people. >> we don't want people that are b level c level d level. we have to get our absolute best. >> he can to. so there is a lot to talk through on this one. chris lizza, i want to start with you, our cnn politics reporter and editor at large. and on the whole best people line, talk to me about the best people he hired. >> as you played, great clip there, donald trump loved to talk about the best people, a list, he could bring people in that no one else could. oops. he rightly notes omarosa has been fired by donald trump
either in reality tv or in the white house multiple times. but he fails to note that omarosa was hired by donald trump multiple times. it's not as though he didn't know what he was getting into. this guy blanked -- wow, nothing there. what that was supposed to be was a picture of jeff sessions and donald trump, brooke. what that tells you is donald trump -- he called him beleaguered, called him weak, called him ineffective. now, this is amazing, over the weekend it got overblown by the omarosa story. i have never seen anything, our ag is scared stiff and missing in action. scared stiff and missing in action. he calls it the department of justice. jeff sessions and omarosa are not the only people who donald trump has grown disinterrupteled with or resigned or been fired. seven cabinet secretaries have left under duress or under their own power.
george w. bush, by comparison, four cabinet secretaries. 57% -- these aren't my numbers. these are the brookings institute a think tank down here in d.c. 57% of donald trump's top staff, including cabinet officials have turned over already, 18 months into this. i want to show a picture, because this really speaks to it. let's quickly run through what we are looking at. corey lewandowski. if you don't know scaramucci, and you know omarosa. gorka, and in the background, that's rob porter the former staff secretary. how many of these people -- these people were all working at the white house when this picture was dayen. how many of them work at the white house now, brooke? >> zero. >> zero. >> zero. >> all of these people are gone. and i will tell you it's not just this picture, again, six in ten top level trump staffers do not work at the white house anymore. 18 months. it's the kind of boss he is. he plays people against one
another. he is willing to possible publicly shame people as he has done we petedly with sessions, who continues to be the attorney general tide and despite being scared stiff and beleaguered and weak. it is a remarkable thing, it is not normal piece of the presidency that has redesigned not normal to be a president means. back to you. >> you are one of our best people for rolling through that. >> always, not a b or a c list person. >> i got you. chris lizza thank you so much. we have the security aspect of the whole thing that happened in the situation room. we have so much more. including omarosa's credibility, what was her official role in the white house, what did she do in the last year half? also in a major development in the stand your ground case out of florida where a man was shot and killed in an argued over a parking spot. almost a month later why charges are just now being filed.
and any moment now, speaking of the president, we waiting to get eyes on him in fort drum new york. he has been on vacation. he is back in washington, taking a trip up to new york. we will monitor what he has has to say in just a moment. you are watching cnn i'm brooke baldwin. improve our workflow. attract new customers. that's when fastsigns recommended fleet graphics. yeah! now business is rolling in. get started at fastsigns.com.
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2016. and now, in her new book, among the myriad negative claims, she says the president has problems correctly saying long words because of a declining mine. but omarosa herself can't seem to keep her story straight. in the last two days she contradicted herself whether the president even knew she was going to be fired. >> no, i know he knows, because i have talked to him subsequently. and he said he del gated. i delegate it. he knew that john kelly was going to take me into the situation room, lock me in there, threaten me and say things were going to get ugly. >> he said he didn't know and they run a big operation. do you think the president lies often. who is the they in the tape. >> you can't ask a question and then confer my answer with another question. you asked me, downing he knows?
>> with me the author of the book the loneliness of the black republican. welcome back. off of that last pointer it's almost like omarosa day to day, hour by hour, this is a woman whose story continues to change. how can she even be taken creditedbly? >> omarosa has long been comfortable being american villain orville an he is. i think she is perfectly fine with that. and it is part of her opportunity to get her name in the press to get attention to really sell these book. on the other hand, a lot of the stuff that she's telling us isn't exactly news. instead what we are seeing is confirmation of things that we already knew that we had already heard about. the whispers and the problems. and you know, who better to troll the reality tv president than a reality tv villain he is. that's essentially what she's
doing. >> you say -- i hear you. maybe she wants to continue this 15 minutes of fame way longer than it should be. but i was going back to this older article in the cincinnati herald from when she was fired. and black republicans are quote claiming that she blocked them from jobs in order to maintain her status as, as she puts it, her title, the one and only african-american woman senior staff and assistant to the president. one of the quotes in this piece, the flood gates were open but omarosa held all of us to a different standard. she had say over a lot of the black resumes. does that ring true from other black republicans you have talked to? >> essentially, there has been bad blood between omarosa and black republicans outside of the white house for a very, very long time. many of them looked at her and instead of a political appointee saw a social climber, a reality tv star, one of trump's loyalist, someone who hadn't come up organically in black republican ranks. the problem though is it doesn't
necessarily matter who was put in the white house, omarosa, omarosa blocking people, what have you, the problem is it's still donald trump's white house and still a white house that has absolutely no interest in doing thing with the amount of power it has for people of color or more generally people. >> is it at all even clear to you leah, what exactly she did during her time, the year and a half she served at the white house? like what was her job? >> from my understanding, i mean donald trump wanted to be surrounded by people who were loyal to him. who better to put into a position of being a loyalist is omarosa, someone who owed her entire career essentially to donald trump? there were some ideas or there was some talk about her being responsible for bringing in the hbcu presidents but we all know how that ended. in disaster. there is also some -- there was some talk, and i know omarosa
mentioned this but others in the white house said this behind closed doors is she lobbied for greater diversity both in gender and race in the hiring process but was stymied at every turn. the question we should be asking is she wanted a seat at the table because it was important for her to be there and represent. what good is that kind of power if you are doing nothing with it or if your boss is opposed to each the mildest of thing that you suggest. >> sure. according to the republicans if she kept them from having seat at the table and she had a seat at the table but didn't get far with it and now she's gone -- kellyanne conway was asked flat out, can you name the most prominent high-ranking member who is african-american on trump's staff at the white house. and this ws her response --ish. >> who is the most prominent high level adviser to the president on the west wing staff
right now? >> african-american? >> yes. >> i would say that -- well first of all, you are totally not covering the fact that our secretary of housing and urban development and world renowned -- >> i'm asking but the white house staff, the people that the president is with every day. >> well, the president works with secretary carson every day. et cetera trying to break the back of the surge of -- >> who is on the white house staff right now. >> we have juron. >> does he have a office in the west wing. >> in the oep, the executive office of the president, request he. >> but not in the west wing? >> juron is juron smith. we found a note he served as special skt to the president for domestic policy. but it took her a minute to get there. i don't know if juron is the most high-ranking african-american staff member at the white house, but the pointed being it took her a minute to even get there. what does that say about this
white house? >> i think this white house has been perfectly clear that they have no interest in diversity, racial or gender diversity but is instead interested in symbolic or token representations of diversity. putting people in prominent places to speak out on behalf of the president when necessary, putting people in front. those are pourt powerful or influential positions. they are positioned defending the president. essentially that's what omarosa did for a very long time until she ended up being on the outs. with her gone, we really don't have a lot of people. again, that's not surprising for a white house that isn't interested or committed to those kinds of things. >> leah write rigger, thank you so much. >> no problem, thanks for having me. >> thank you. coming up next, rudy giuliani says there was never a conversation between president trump and james comey about the
michael flynn investigation. the only problem with that is giuliani said the exact opposite to cnn a month ago. is this mass confusion strategy working. what happens we former political rivals president trump and john kasich start trolling each other on twitter? that's happening apparently with a clip now of vladimir putin. we'll be right back. whenshe was pregnant,ter failed, in-laws were coming, a little bit of water, it really- it rocked our world. i had no idea the amount of damage that water could do. we called usaa.
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president trump will say he never discussed easing up on a probe of michael flynn with james comey. here is giuliani from this weekend with jake tapper. >> the president says he never told comey that he should go easy on flynn. comey says the president did. he put it in his memo. there was no conversation about michael flynn. the president didn't find out until comey believed there was until february when it took place. >> you are saying that president trump and james comey never discussed michael flynn? >> that is what he will testify to if he was asked that question. >> now, hang on a second because just a few weeks ago giuliani said that the president and comey did discuss flynn. >> he's saying that the president was asking, directing him n his words, to get the michael flynn investigation go. >> he didn't ask him to did that. >> comey says he took it that way. >> that's okay.
at that time he he was fired and turned out a lot of things that he said were untrue. as a prosecutor i was told that many times, can you give the man a break. >> just a reminder here in the former fbi director's memos comey claims the president said quote i hope you can let this go. let's talk to peter waner. he served in three republican administrations, reagan, bush 41 and bush 43. nice to have you on. first up, jewel july saying one thing one week and another thing another week on a central piece this investigation. what say you? >> i would say that giuliani has had and seen better days. this is the coin of the realm with these guys. they say one thing one day, something else the other day. we had it with jay sekulow. but this is an administration that deals in lies. and they have given us an avalanche of lies and misstates.
so they a -- lies and misstatements. they are living in a post truth world or trying to create one. they are throwing things on the walls and seeing what can stick and what doesn't. seeing rudy giuliani embarrass himself is something i guess we have come to expect. it is a sad thing to see. but it's also a pernicious thing. this is all part of an effort to discredit institutions and individuals who are trying to get to the truth and reality of thing as they relate to donald trump and his wrongdoings. >> as far as throwing things on the wall and seeing what sticks i want you to tell me just from the legal perspective what you hear in this, if you listen closely. because giuliani actually doesn't deny the conversation took place, right, about flynn, between trump and comey. he says that trump will testify that he did not take place. the nuance there. >> yeah. look, they are trying to get nuance more and more because they are worried that the mueller investigation is closing in on them and that there is
evidence to contradict what they have said. so they are trying to create escape hatches and ways out. but it's not going to work. in the e ehe end, robert muelle going to come forward with his report. my suspicion sits' going to be a powerful indictment that's going to demonstrate layers and layers of wrongdoing. so all that trump and his supporters are going to be able to do is to try and slander mueller and discredit the investigation not because those charges will be true. they are not. robert mueller is a man of tremendous integrity and the investigation is first class. but that's what they have been reduced to. this is the end justifies the means. this is an administration surrounded by supporters who say that they have got to do whatever they have to do and say whatever they have to say to try and protect donald trump. and the stronger the mueller case is, the more the slanders
increase and the more the attacks and efforts to delegitimatize the investigation increase. >> as we are talking peter, i don't know if you have a tv in front of you, but for everyone watching along and you are wandering what is going on. obviously, there the president. he is in fort drum. he is there to sign this $16 billion national defense authorization act. what you are looking at is an actual drill that is happening here in fort drum for the president. >> right. >> just to let people know what's going on he will be signing this defense bill which is actually named after john mccain, peter. >> that's right. >> who is a frequent trump critic. so -- >> he is. and an american hero. and somebody that was also slandered pie donald trump during the 2016 campaign. >> as we stay on the pictures i want to continue on in the conversation. in recent days we have been hearing escalated rhetoric from fox news hosts, analysts.
so here is just the latest example. >> robert mueller is a greater threat to this republic and the constitution than anything vladimir putin did during the campaign. >> is mueller a greater threat than putin to this country? >> he's a serious threat. >> you heard -- you heard her question. you know,s s ithis is the only the president watches, peter, transmitting a message that putin is less of a threat than a specially appointed former fbi agent. >> yeah. this is insane. and it just shows you that with these people there is no bottom when it comes to defending donald trump. vladimir putin is a dictator. he is repressive. he has killed journalists. he is an adversary of the united states and intervened in the 2016 election and tried to tilt the outcome. the idea that robert mueller is a bigger threat to america than
vladimir putin is crazy. there is a difference between america and donald trump. what you have to understand what's going on here is the stronger the case that robert mueller has, the more vitriolic, the more acrimonious, the more low bellous his support remembers going to be on his attacks on robert mueller. it's actually a sign of the strength of the case that mueller is assessing and their fear of what he's going to reveal. if robert mueller didn't have anything they would ignore him. but they know that he's got something. and they can't refute it on the facts. so they have to try and delegitimatize him and the investigation. but in the end, the truth will out and i don't think they are going to get away wichlt they certainly shouldn't. what is happening here is a cynical and dishonest game. >> speaking of putin, there has been this whole back and forth. trump has been tweeting today
before he arrived and is standing with the nation's military members in fort drum he was tweeting. he was tweeting about his former foe, someone else who wanted to be president, the ohio governor, john kasich. the president was saying that he heard an ohio republican's senate campaign. kasich responds. we have the clip on the screen, which is of all people, vladimir from the ohio governor. >> right. it's unusual to see a republican governor troll a republican president. but that's life under donald trump. yeah, and that race, the ohio 12th district, i don't think there is much question that the kasich endorsement was more helpful to the republican candidate than the trump one. i think the trump endorsement probably helped but kasich helped more. he's certainly more popular in ohio. but this is an illustration of what politics under donald trump has become. this is like a reality game show. it's trivial. it's unserious.
and he has a way of pulling almost who is involved in politics into it with him. and we can't let that happen, because politics is about a lot of things, but politics finally and fundamentally is about justice. and promoting the human good. and the common good. and we can't allow this kind of cynicism and this kind of triviality to take over. we need people to defend politics and embody what it can be. and jump is the an thit sis of that. the trick for the critics is how you can make a case against him without being drawn down into the muck with him. it's not alwaysan easy thing to do. >> peter waner, thank you so very much for talking to me here about trump, and giuliani and mueller. i want to go to our pentagon correspondent barbara starr to help us understand what exactly we have been seeing in the
drills at fort drum. >> brooke, you are seeing the president now, looks like the drills may have concluded a bit. he is shaking hands with the troops, taking photos with them. this is something that really is very important to the troops. they wanted to see the commander in chief. and they like meeting any president of the united states because, after all, this is the person that can send them into battles. but, as you look at these pictures, it is very important to remember, this is a demonstration in front of cameras. this is a photo op. is it real training for the ips troops? yes. they train all the time. but they are doing this in front of cameras because the president is there. the scenario we are told you know is establishing a front line in a foreign country. of course in reality if they are establishing a front line in a foreign you country, the chances are they are being shot at. that certainly is not what is happening as the president watch this is demonstration. not to minimize it at all in
terms of something the military wants to show the president of the united states that they can do, but it should be sort of understood for what it is. it is a demonstration in front of television cameras. and it is a demonstration, the fact is, for a president that has not yet found the time or opportunity, if you will, to visit the front lines in iraq, afghanistan, syria, where so many troops are, where so many top generals go visit the troops. the president has not made that journey yet away from a demonstration in front of tv cameras to the front lines where even today in afghanistan u.s. troops are on the ground working as advisers in a very bitter fight with the taliban. that the afghanistan forces are trying to win. you know, troops are putting their lives on the line, on the real line, all over the place. the president is seeing an important demonstration. that's what it is.
he will i guess be continuing this visit and speaking shortly. >> he will speak shortly. we will listen in. barbara starr thank you so much. appreciate your voice on that in the military. meantime, a major development in a high-profile stand your ground case out of florida where a man was shot and killed during an argument over a parking spot. almost a month later we are asking why are charges just now being filed? and minnesota teenager says she was medically kidnapped. this unusual story involving an 18-year-old girl who says she was held captive by the world renowned mayo clinic after the hospital helped save her life. do not miss this cnn exclusive showing her he escape. coming up. out people and while we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country, we never forget... that your business is our business the united states postal service. priority: you tap one little bumper and up go your rates. what good is your insurance if you get punished for using it?
the woman's boyfriend confronts the man, pushes him to the ground and as mclaw ton starts to walk away he was shot and later died. drako was not arrested at the time of the shooting police said no crime was committed. martin savidge is with me now with clearly an obvious change. what change took place. >> reporter: the sheriff said he couldn't make an arrest in the case at that time was the fact of the controversial stand your ground case. however there has been a review by the state attorney of the county and essentially that attorney has said hold on a second here we don't necessarily see it that way. in other words, that drako may not have a strong case of the stand your ground. as a result of that there was a manslaughter charge that was placed. drako was taken into custody this morning, put in jail under $100,000 bond and has his court
appearance tomorrow. the family of the man who was shot has issued this statement. and they say, this man killed marquise in cold blood without a second thought about the exact his actions would have on our family. but this charge gives us a measure of hope that justice will win and prevail in the end. the video is going to be key in his trial. it does not mean yes or no to stand your ground. it just means that prosecutors believe they can make a case that stand your ground here does not apply after this argument as you say, over a parking space outside of a convenient store? florida back in july. >> martin savidge, thank you. coming up next, new questions emerge being airport security after a ground employee managed to steal an empty commercial plane, fly it for over an hour, only to end in a fiery crash. how the suspect was able to get
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venus the fbi says it has located human remains in the flight data recorder in the wreckage of the horizon airplane that crashed friday near seattle. and there are all kinds of questions about how an airport worker with apparently no piloting experience could pull something off like this. authorities say richard russel, a ground service agent, stole and flew the plane for about an hour before crashing into a remote island. during the harrowing joyride, russel each attempted students. all the whiles these armed f 15 jets scrambled to fly behind him. and throughout the whole flight he talked to air traffic control. >> i got a lot of people that care about me. and it's going to disappoint them to hear that i did this.
i would like to apologize to each and every one of them. just a broken guy whose got a few screws loose, i guess. never really knew it until now. >> we are going to come back to this. first let's go straight to president trump at fort drum, new york. >> this base and most particularly the people that are working so hard here and so effectively. so i want to start by say, at ease! just relax. do you have seats? you can sit down. go ahead, sit -- if you want to stand, you can. we'll just get one big standing ovation, right? sit down. thank you. that's pretty good. everybody has got a seat. thank you very much. i want to thank our wonderful vice president, mike pence, and say a special hello to the incredible patriots of fort drum
and the 10th mountain division. special people. thank you. [ cheers and applause ] a few moments ago, i witnessed your extraordinary capabilities firsthand during an artillery raid demonstration. i would like to begin by alloweding the 10th mountain division combat aviation bringing aid, along with the 3rd battalion 6th field artillery. [ cheers and applause ] i hate to say this, but nobody stands a chance against you folks. nobody stands a chance. i'm here today to sign our new defense bill into law and to pay tribute to the greatest soldiers in the history of the world, the
united states army. thank you. thank you. the national defense authorization act is the most significant investment in our military and our war fighters in modern history. and i am very proud to be a big, big part of it. it was not very hard. you know, i went to congress. i said let's do it. we've got to do it. we are going to strengthen our military like never ever before. and that's what we did. i want to say, very strongly, there is no better place than right here at fort drum to celebrate its passage. no better place. after years of devastating cuts, we are now rebuilding our military like we never have before. ever. because we know that to survive
and having that survival of our freedom, it depends upon the might of our military. and no enemy on earth can match the strength, courage, and skill of the american army and the american armed forces. nobody's even close. they never will be. we are grateful to be joined today by many of our nation's top military leaders. i'd like to recognize deputy secretary of defense shanahan, who is with us. please, mr. secretary. [ applause ] people i've heard about all my life, very prestigious title, i always love the ring, the joint chiefs of staff. right? that's got a good ring. anybody in the audience going to be a member of that some day? i think so. raise your hand if you think you
are going to make i. raise your hand. go ahead. oh, come on. that's all? only a few? i don't know. i want to thank general dunford, general millie, general neller, admiral richardson, general gold fine, general engle, and vice admiral ray. thank you all for your leadership. you are magnificent. we appreciate it very much. thank you. thank you. [ applause ] a very special thank you to the commanding general of the 10th mountain definition, major general walt piyat. what a special man. walt, i want to thank you. where is walt? where is walt? walt, thank you very much. thank you. thank you.
[ applause ] walt is back on american soil after deployment in iraq. and i just want to welcome you home. you have tremendous respect. they have great, great admiration and respect for you, walt. thank you very much. i also just had the chance to meet division command sergeant major jason roork along with 10th mountain division soldier of the year, michael lima. where is michael? where is michael? soldier of the year. michael. [ applause ] pretty good. and that soldier of the year, michael, out of how many? how many? that's a lot of soldiers. 18,000? do you want to work for me? thank you michael. great job. we would not be here for today's signing ceremony without the
dedicated efforts of the members of congress who worked so hard to pass the national defense authorization act. i would like to recognize congresswoman elise stefe proud fort drum. elise called me so many times. i said i don't want to take her call. she wanted me to be here. i said, i won't be able to. we would have to change a lot of scheduling. but that didn't suit her. she didn't stop. and here i am. here i am. elise, come here. come here, elise. [ applause ] >> thank you, mr. president. it is truly an honor to welcome you to fort drum, home of the historic 10th