Skip to main content

Sarah Huckabee Sanders
  Sarah Huckabee Sanders Briefs After Anthony Scaramucci Resignation  CSPAN  July 31, 2017 6:49pm-7:18pm EDT

6:49 pm
[inaudible] >> next, today's white house briefing with incoming press secretary, sarah huckabee sanders. she spoke about the departure of white house communications director, anthony scaramucci. he said she he does not have a role in the trump administration at this time. at the time treasure secretary stephen mnuchin announced the demonstrations decisions to place financial sanctions on venezuela. this is half an hour. >> don't worry john roberts, you have plenty of time. waiting for you. good afternoon everyone.
6:50 pm
before we start i like to bring up national security advisor, general hr mcmaster and treasury secretary, stephen mnuchin to discuss administration's response in the recent antidemocratic actions in venezuela. they will each make opening remarks and take your questions on the topic at hand. then as always, your favorite time of day, i will come back up and take your questions. thank you. >> it afternoon everybody. i thought it might be best to read the present statement. since president trumps administration, the ministration has called on venezuela's medora regime to respect venezuela's constitution, respect the role authorities of the constitutional national assembly, hold free and fair elections, address the humanitarian needs of the venezuelan people, release
6:51 pm
political prisoners, and stop oppressing its great people. the regime has refused to heed this call. in recent actions culminating in yesterday's outrageous seizure of absolute power through the sham election of the national constituent assembly represent the very serious blow to democracy in our hemisphere. maduro is not just a bad leader, he is now a dictator. the united states stands with the people of venezuela in the face of this oppression. we will work with our partners to hold accountable all those responsible for the escalating violence and ongoing human rights violations. the president promised strong and swift actions if the regime went forward with imposing the national constituent assembly on the venezuelan people. he will keep that promise. secretary mnuchin.
6:52 pm
>> thank you, general. today, the united states is broadening its effort to address the ongoing assault on venezuela's democratic institutions by the medora regime. treasury's office of foreign assets control, opec has sanctions the president of venezuela. nicholas maduro. as a result of today's sanctions, all assets of maduro, subject to u.s. jurisdiction are frozen. u.s. persons are prohibited from dealing with him. as president trump said earlier this month, the strong and courageous actions by the venezuelan people to stand for democracy, freedom, and the rule of law have been continually ignored by nicholas maduro who dreams of becoming a dictator. yesterday's illegitimate
6:53 pm
election confirmed that maduro is a dictator who disregards the will of the venezuelan people. the national constituent assembly aspires illegitimately to usurp the constitutional role of democratically elected national assembly. rewrite the constitution, and impose an authoritarian regime on the people. as such, it represents a rupture in venezuela's constitutional and democratic order. by sanctioning maduro, the united states makes clear our opposition to the policies of his regime on the support for the people of venezuela. the people who strive to return their country to a full and prosperous democracy. as the countries have to say, maduro is directly responsible for venezuela's dissent and for
6:54 pm
the destruction of democracy. at a maduro two oh fax list of a specially designated national reflects our commitment to not stand by idly as venezuela continues to crumble under the regime's abuses. we hope the sanctions will make all maduro regime officials reconsider how their actions have affected their country. these actions highlight the high cost of repercussions of this regime could face if they continue their reckless and undemocratic activities. anyone who participates in this illegitimate ansi could be exposed to future u.s. sanctions for the role and undemanding democratic process and institutions in venezuela. now, we will take a few questions. >> if the sanctions don't work, what with the next it be? in general mcmaster, have we
6:55 pm
ruled out anything on the table out of -- economics. >> i said this generally, we very much believe that sanctions do work. we will continue to monitor the situation and consider additional sanctions. >> into general mcmaster? >> the president has prioritized his concern for the venezuelan people. his only considering those options which would benefit directly the venezuelan people. >> how many times have had sanctions before? >> i cannot comment on his assets, and this will be the fourth head of state. >> i have a question about the sanctions and election. about election, i want to know if you see the election as a.
6:56 pm
[inaudible] a power this next year. and also there's a net the venezuelan government is moving in the direction of a coup. >> what we're seeing is venezuela is not a coup, what were seen as the brutal oppression of the venezuelan people. so, it's clear if you contrast the turnout from the opposition referendum to the very low numbers of the turnout during this farce, associated with the constituent assembly, i think you see the true desires of what the venezuela people are. >> how is this different from
6:57 pm
what happened in turkey when the president in turkey also sees expended powers and referendum and has questionable results. president trump congratulated the turkey president on the and he later came to the u.s., what is the difference? >> one difference is that you see the end of the constitution of venezuela. this is happening at an accelerated pace in recent months in them and daughter regime, but it's a process that has taken two regimes to restrict venezuelan democracy. by designating maduro himself he joins an exclusive club including mr. mcgarvey, but charlotte said coming kim jong-un,'s terms is the oppression of his people.
6:58 pm
>> is the administration contemplating any action at the un security council in terms of multilateral sanctions against the regime? >> this president is not going to advertise what he is going to do in the future. so, all options are on the table and we will consider everything. >> what was the question? >> have you spoken to any other american allies about the issue of punishing? >> there been many leaders have taken a very important role in this connection with trying to engagement dural to moderate his behavior and protect the rights
6:59 pm
of his people. as you know, the organization has tried very hard in this area as well. so, the president is committed to working with partners in the region on behalf of the venezuelan people. >> we had several countries last week join us in our previous sanctions. >> what conversations have you had with maduro? >> i think we are not going to comment on the. >> the president has promised strong and swift economic sanctions. this is not really economic,'s more individual. will the president carry out strong and swift economic sanctions? >> we've had a series of sanctions last week. this is an additional one today. we don't comment on futures engines but we will monitor the situation and determine what is appropriate. >> is talk about making changes in terms of our export oil to
7:00 pm
venezuela or curbing venezuelan oil imports. his out on the table are set would be seen as hurting the venezuelan people? >> as we continue to monitor the situation we will continue to review our options. our objective is not to do anything that hurts the people of venezuela. we will continue to monitor. >> sanctions against oil? >> we will monitor all of our options. >> thank you mr. secretary. sixteen years ago, secretary powell signed an agreement in south america in which the u.s. completely ruled out support of coups that would have a indirect -- in south america. this occurred in 80.
7:01 pm
are you still abiding by the agreement secretary powell signed in ruling out any u.s. support of a coup, or an uprising against maduro to bring a new leadership? >> we are focused on the democratic process and that is what were focused on right now. one more question. >> other sanctions on -- link to the military? >> we have announcing shins and will continue to monitor the situation. thank you everybody. i appreciated. >> you guys wasted all your questions on the same one over and over. tough crowd today. i know it's a little late.
7:02 pm
were used to doing a briefing so i will have a few updates before get your questions. i wanted to make sure you are aware that last week the first lady now she will leave the united states delegation in support of the more than 90 american athletes competing at the games in toronto, canada this september. as a president often says there's no better representative of the united states and the first lady. he's very proud leading having her leave the team to support the athletes. the first lady is looking forward to her first solo international trip in her office is available to answer any questions. the vice president is overseas on a three country visits eastern europe. he spent the last few days in estonia attending meetings and participating in the nato enhanced board presidents mission or he recognizes sania is only five member nato states that means their defense spending obligation. earlier today the vice president second lady arrived in georgia attended a dinner hosted by the prime minister. as the vice president continues to strengthen our relationships with our friends and allies in
7:03 pm
europe, here at home the department of commerce and energy welcome new seven up partnership between american energy and the government of ukraine. ukraine stayed on power company will purchase american thermal coal ahead of the upcoming winter season. this will help ukraine with an alternative energy source. this announcement will also boost our own economy, supporting job; transportation industry as the trump administration continues to move our country down the path of energy dominance we hope to see more mutually beneficial actions like this lately. i know we just saw the assembly that happened in the east room.
7:04 pm
the 48 heroine arrows of close combat fighting in vietnam, he has voluntarily risks his life multiple times to protect his comrades. even after shrapnel blasted open the back of his body from head to foot he continued to answer the pleas of his fallen soldiers, even caring want to safety on his own badly injured backs. as one of his comrades recalled, the medic could count on him. the president was honored to give him the medal of honor today. with that, i will take your question. >> is anthony scaramucci still in the administration? does have another role? and can you talk about the circumstances of his departure this morning? >> he does not have a role at this time. we put out a statement earlier announcing that.
7:05 pm
i don't have much else to say. >> digital kelly asked him to leave for the president? did he volunteer his reservation? that come about? >> i'm not going to get into the process. as we said several times before, what matters most trust is not who is employed at the white house, but who is employed in the rest of the country. were focused on the president's agenda of growing economy, creating jobs, and that is what were going to do and what will be focused on. >> was in the chain of command issue because scare michie said he had a direct line of medication with the president. so was it something about the chain of command? or did have anything to do with
7:06 pm
an interview that anthony scaramucci left? >> the president felt that anthony's comments were inappropriate for person that position. he did not want to burden general kelly with that line of succession as we have me clear a few times her last few days, general kelly has a full authority to operate within the white house and all staff will report to him. >> when you say you want to burden him with the chain of command? >> yes. >> can you clarify one thing, apparently jared kushner said they were following general kelly sleep, what comes to the people have access to the president, with a conduit being narrowed down now? will everything flow-through kelly or will something still flow around the staff? >> the president has given full authority to general kelly and he will make those determinations. >> the statement that you release by the white house that anthony scaramucci felt it was best to give the chief of staff,
7:07 pm
john kelly is clean slate. please said the president himself that his comments were inappropriate. >> i don't see those as being mutually exclusive. i think anthony was general kelly to be able to operate fully with a clean slate, built his own team. while the same time the president thought his comments were inappropriate. >> as we have laid out, general kelly will bring the structure to the white house and discipline and strength. we are really excited to work with him. in terms of -- i'm not going to draw an organization chart. >> steve bannon, kelly and everybody reports under him instead of going straight to the president? >> i think i've been clear that general kelly has the full authority to carry out business as he sees fit.
7:08 pm
>> in regards to sean spicer, will he be in the administration in any way now that anthony scaramucci has announced he will not be part of the trump demonstration? >> i'm not aware of any changes on that front. >> ten days ago anthony's gear which he was introduced as a new white house communications director, ten days later he is out of a job. the president announced on twitter that there is no chaos at the white house. how would you describe what is happened over the course of the past ten days. obviously you will agree with your boss that there's no chaos, but how do you. >> not to be the case. >> i think it's simple. i've said it before. if you want to see cass, come to my house with three preschoolers. this doesn't hold a candle to
7:09 pm
that. just to be clear, that's not an open invitation to come to my house. but if you want to schedule babysitting time i'll be happy to work that out. >> does the president regret hiring anthony scaramucci? >> i'm not going to get into anything beyond what i've said. >> unit want to get in on the process but you've already, you recently laying it on scare michie that it was his decision. >> i think i been clear that the president felt it was inappropriate, both anthony and general kelly also came to a mutual agreement were moving forward to focus on the job outside this building, not within it. >> just to clarify, i want to understand the word he, he didn't want the burden, but that line of succession,. >> that is the president. >> you're saying the president is deciding that. >> look, we also had the pleasure of the president. this was a mutually agreed conversation that took place between several people.
7:10 pm
>> on russia and russia sanctions, do you know whether president has or intends to sign a sanctions bill for russia and why hasn't he taken the opportunity he had today several public opportunities to say something in response to vladimir putin retaliation? >> we put out a statement over the weekend stating the president's intent to sign. we will let you know when that takes place. again, we will let you know when that will happen. in terms of your second question the follow-up was. >> why hasn't he taken the opportunity to say something forceful to president putin. it's striking the silence from the president with no response out of his own month. he had a few opportunities today to say something about it. >> right now we are reviewing our options. when we pennant out we will let you know.
7:11 pm
>> you said earlier that all staff will report to the new chief of staff, does that include chair kushner, steve bannon everyone? >> that includes everybody at the white house. >> will the administration absolutely support the version of passover that comes with tax reform? >> we put out a joint statement with the big six and will continue to work with them and announce details as it comes forward. >> when sean spicer resigned-a he said it was for a clean slate, when anthony scaramucci resigned he said it was for a clean slate. has a slave been clean? are there any other shakeups at this time? >> they're all set in their positions are now. >> is there any chance you'll just leave the job of communication director along, having had to people leave
7:12 pm
rather abruptly. >> will let you know what we have personal announcements to make. >> when the president made a speech with police officers on friday, almost within minutes comments came from police chiefs across the country criticizing his remarks that seem to endorse use of force by police in certain arrests. was the president joking when he said this, or did he check his remarks out to the international association of police chiefs, or maybe the attorney general? >> i believe he was making a joke. >> to be clear, the same as that anthony scaramucci is no longer with demonstration, with the
7:13 pm
fire by the president or asked to resign? >> i'm not going to get into anything beyond what i've already said. >> from the president's perspective you said it was a back-and-forth conversation, can you take us through what the president is looking for in the communication area. >> i think he wants to work with general kelly and the communications team that is intact right now and determine what the best course for it is. >> now with attorney general sessions being considered for homeland security chief accurate? how soon will that search be complete. >> there are no conversations about any cabinet members moving in any capacity. the president has 100% confidence in all members of his cabinet. >> one on anthony scaramucci, you said -- what did the president find it disturbing. >> he felt it inappropriate for a person that position i believe
7:14 pm
the comment that he made, he found those comments and appropriate. i'm not sure it's unclear. >> to but the message and being important to the president trying to figure out what went wrong this morning when anthony scaramucci was here on this afternoon. >> again, i don't think it's complicated to understand that the president felt the comments were inappropriate. i can't really explain it in further than that. i'm not sure. >> there's been discussion about people speculating about a first -- >> the president is not going to broadcast any decisions. all options are on the table. >> there's a new executive order on infrastructure, does that
7:15 pm
mean the presence i quench prioritize working with congress on infrastructure? there any discussion at this point of moving forward with any sort of legislative plans a special digital? >> absolute not. the president has been outspoken on the need for a massive overhaul to the country's infrastructure system. that is still a priority both legislative and in any capacity he has the ability to carry out. >> we have seen the chief of staff, the deputy chief of sta staff, the press secretary national security advisor all leave in the first six months of the administration. kenny tells about why there has been all the turbulence. i know you don't like to get into the process. but all that together, what's going on? >> were continuing to focus on the president's agenda. we will have staff changes and
7:16 pm
we let you know when the happen. what matters to us is not the jobs that are within this building but the ones outside of their. that's why the president has been focused on growing jobs. we have created over a million new job since he took office. the lowest unemployment in the last 16 years. consumer confidence is at all-time high. focused on creating a strong economy and growing jobs outside of this building. now focus on the ones within. >> a quick follow-up on healthcare. mulvaney said the white house was on any votes in the senate until their voting on healthcare with john mccain out, it's unlikely for vote on healthcare. and trump is pushing for nominees, will they accept the senate voting on non- healthcare things over the next few weeks and months? >> were continuing to push forward hopefully with the repeal of replacement of obama care. we'll continue to do that. >> the president's legislative director was talking about tax reform.
7:17 pm
i wanted to ask if you could elaborate on the president hope to travel in august to talk about tax cuts and tax reforms and interest and maybe getting democratic senators. had you have any details? >> that at this time, but certainly will make sure to keep you posted on the president's travel throughout august. he does hope to have a large amount of support for tax reform. that's something that's vital for our economy and something the administration is very focused on and has been and will continue working with both the house and senate members of the administration. i'm close on time. thank you. >> why would the president joke about police brutality? that's not a joking