My fellow Americans, On Wednesday, I traveled to Las Vegas to visit with the victims of the horrific shooting, speak with their families, and thank the brave citizens, first responders and medical personnel who saved so many lives. We struggle to grasp the evil that occurred on Sunday evening when a murderer shot into a crowd of more than 20,000 people. Men, women, and children were gathered to enjoy a concert. They never imagined it would become the worst day of their lives. But in the wake of such shock and horror, it was a matter of seconds before the goodness of the human spirit broke through. When the shooting began, a mother laid on top of her daughter to shield her from gunfire. A husband died to protect his beloved wife. Strangers rescued strangers, police officers and first responders rushed into danger. When the worst of humanity strikes, the best of humanity responds. The men and women who risked their lives to save their fellow citizens give proof to the words of this Scripture: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Americans defied death and hatred with love and courage. This week our nation remembers all the wonderful people we have lost and all of the grace they brought into our lives and our communities. Among the fallen were young students full of limitless potential, law enforcement personnel, a nurse, teachers dedicated to our children’s future, and many others. They were mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers. They were husbands and wives, and sons and daughters. They will be dearly missed, and they will never be forgotten. To all those who lost a loved one, we cannot imagine your pain, or erase your sorrow. Our hearts grieve for you. We stand with you now, and every day after. And we pray that God may carry you through the anguish and sorrow. We can never fill the void of those who perished, but we pledge to honor them by living as they would have wished – with lives full of purpose, with hearts full of love, and with hope for a better tomorrow. God comfort the broken-hearted. And may God bless the United States of America. Thank you.DEMOCRATIC PARTY RESPONSE: Delivered by Rep. John Lewis — (D-GA) released Friday, Oct. 6, 2017.
My fellow Americans, As Hurricane Irma approaches, my Administration is working closely with our state and local partners to help save lives, protect families, and assist those in need. This is a storm of absolutely historic destructive potential. I ask everyone in the storm’s path to be vigilant, and to heed all recommendations from government officials and law enforcement. Nothing is more important than the safety and security of our people. We are doing everything we can to help with disaster preparations and, when the time comes, we will restore, recover, and rebuild – together, as Americans. In times such as these, we see the strength and the resolve of the American Spirit – and we see the kindness and courage of our people. With gratitude for our first responders, and prayers for those in the storm’s path, America stands united – and I mean totally united. From Texas to Louisiana, from Florida to Puerto Rico, and always the US Virgin Islands, and everywhere in between that has been affected by these terrible storms: we will endure and come back stronger than ever before. Earlier this week, I visited the hardworking citizens of North Dakota to promote our vision for tax cuts and tax reform that will create opportunity and prosperity for millions and millions of Americans. As President, I am committed to pursuing an economic policy that lifts up all of our citizens, provides hope for all of our communities, and generates wealth for everyday hardworking people and it’s about time. Since January, we’ve already created 1.2 million jobs. Unemployment is near a 16-year low. Wages are rising. But for our economy to truly take off like it should, we must cut taxes and reform our badly-broken tax system. Our current burdensome tax code is a massive lead weight against the American economy. It costs us millions of jobs, trillions of dollars, and billions and billions of hours wasted on paperwork and compliance. My Administration is working closely with Congress to develop a plan that will deliver more jobs, higher pay, and lower taxes for businesses of all sizes and most importantly for Middle Class families all across America. First, we are going to make filing taxes as simple as possible. If you’re like most Americans, under our plan you will file your taxes on a single page. What a difference that will make – and you won’t need to keep endless receipts and paperwork. We are freeing you from the horrible tax maze. Secondly, we will cut taxes for Middle Class families. We want you to keep more of your hard earned money. This way, you could spend it, you could save it, you could do whatever you want. Third, we will restore our competitive edge so we can create more jobs and higher wages for the American worker. Today we have the highest business tax rate anywhere in the developed world – 60 percent higher on average than our major foreign competitors. It is a crushing tax on every product Made in America, and it encourages American businesses to ship jobs and factories overseas – something that I have been fighting long and hard and we are making tremendous head way. Believe me, they are starting to move back to our country and the jobs are coming with them. We are going to cut taxes on American Industry so we can create more business in our country. We want our companies to hire and grow in America, to raise wages for American workers, and to help rebuild our American cities and towns. Finally, we will make it easier for companies to bring back trillions of dollars that they are now keeping overseas. And the reason is the tax is too high and the bureaucracy is too great. It is so complicated for them to bring back their money that they say “let’s just leave it over here, we won’t bring it back to the United States.” Terrible situation. We are going to take care of it. But this money should be brought back to American soil, where it can be invested in new factories and brand new beautiful jobs. Our plan is pro-jobs, pro-worker, pro-family and pro-American. This is our chance to give American workers a level playing field, to end the rigged system that lets special interests win at the expense of the middle class, and to reestablish our economic dominance for generations to come. That is how we all succeed and grow together – as one team, one people, and one American family. Frankly, that is how we Make America Great Again. Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America.DEMOCRATIC PARTY RESPONSE: Delivered by Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-New Mexico)
WASHINGTON (AP) — North Korea on Sunday claimed a “perfect success” for its most powerful nuclear test so far, a further step in the development of weapons capable of striking anywhere in the United States. President Donald Trump, asked if he would attack the North, said, “We’ll see.”
He also suggested squeezing China, the North’s patron for many decades and a vital U.S. trading partner, on the economic front, in hopes of persuading Beijing to exert leverage on its neighbor. Trump tweeted that the U.S. is considering “stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea.”
The latest military provocation from the isolated communist country reinforces the danger facing America, Trump said earlier in a series of tweets, adding that “talk of appeasement” is pointless.
“They only understand one thing!” Trump wrote, without elaboration, as he prepared to meet later with his national security team, which he said would include John Kelly, his chief of staff, as well as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis “and other military leaders.”
Sunday’s detonation by North Korea was the first nuclear test since Trump took office in January.
After attending church near the White House, Trump made his “We’ll see” comment in response to a question from reporters.
The precise strength of the explosion, described by state-controlled media in North Korea as a hydrogen bomb, has yet to be determined. South Korea’s weather agency said the artificial earthquake caused by the explosion was five times to six times stronger than tremors generated by the North’s previous five such tests. The impact reportedly shook buildings in China and in Russia.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was calling counterparts in Asia, and Trump’s treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, said he was putting together proposed new sanctions for Trump to consider that would seek to cut off trade with North Korea.
The action suggested in Trump’s trade tweet would be radical: The U.S. imports about $40 billion in goods a month from China, North Korea’s main commercial partner.
It’s unclear what kind of penalties might make a difference. Lassina Zerbo, head of the U.N. test ban treaty organization, said sanctions already imposed against North Korea aren’t working.
Trump warned last month that the U.S. military was “locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely” and that the U.S. would unleash “fire and fury” on the North if it continued to threaten America. The bellicose words followed threats from North Korea to launch ballistic missiles toward the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, intending to create “enveloping fire” near the military hub that’s home to U.S. bombers.
The North’s latest test was carried out at 12:29 p.m. local time at the Punggye-ri site where it has conducted past nuclear tests. Officials in Seoul put the magnitude at 5.7; the U.S. Geological Survey said it was a magnitude 6.3. The strongest artificial quake from previous tests was a magnitude 5.3.
“North Korea has conducted a major Nuclear Test. Their words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous to the United States,” Trump said in the first of a series of tweets.
He branded North Korea “a rogue nation which has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success.”
Yet Trump appeared to be more critical of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has attempted to reach out to the North.
“South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!” Trump said.
China’s official Xinhua News Agency said President Xi Jinping and Russian leader Vladimir Putin, meeting on the sidelines of a Beijing-led economic summit, agreed “to adhere to the goal of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, have close communication and coordination and properly respond” to the test.
North Korea’s state-run television broadcast a special bulletin to announce the test and said leader Kim Jong Un attended a meeting of the ruling party’s presidium and signed the go-ahead order. Earlier, the party’s newspaper ran a front-page story showing photos of Kim examining what it said was a nuclear warhead being fitted onto the nose of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Sunday’s detonation builds on recent North Korean advances that include test launches in July of two ICBMs that are believed to be capable of reaching the mainland U.S. The North says its missile development is part of a defensive effort to build a viable nuclear deterrent that can target U.S. cities.
The North claimed the device it tested was a thermonuclear weapon – commonly called a hydrogen bomb. That could be hard to independently confirm. It said the underground test site did not leak radioactive materials, which would make such a determination even harder.
At the same time, the simple power of the blast was convincing. Japan’s Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said it might have been as powerful as 70 kilotons. North Korea’s previous largest was thought to be anywhere from 10 to 30 kilotons.
“We cannot deny it was an H-bomb test,” Onodera said.
North Korea conducted two nuclear tests last year and has been launching missiles at a record pace this year. It fired a potentially nuclear-capable midrange missile over northern Japan last week in response to ongoing U.S.-South Korea military exercises.
It said that launch was the “curtain raiser” for more activity to come.
Just before Sunday’s test, according to state media, Kim and the other senior leaders at the party presidium meeting discussed “detailed ways and measures for containing the U.S. and other hostile forces’ vicious moves for sanctions.”
The photos released earlier showed Kim talking with his lieutenants as he observed a silver, peanut-shaped device that the state-run media said was designed to be mounted on the North’s “Hwasong-14” ICBM.
The North claims the device was made domestically and has explosive power that can range from tens to hundreds of kilotons. For context, the bomb dropped on Hiroshima by the U.S. had a 15-kiloton yield.
North Korea’s recent activity has been especially bold.
The North followed its two ICBM tests by announcing a plan to fire intermediate range missiles toward Guam. Kim signed off on the plan, but is watching the moves by the U.S. before deciding when or whether to carry it out.
Guam is a sore point for the North because it is home to a squadron of B-1B bombers that the North fears could be used to attack their country. The U.S. on Thursday had sent the bombers and F-35 stealth fighters to the sky over South Korea in a show of force – and North Korea strongly protested.
The two Koreas have shared the world’s most heavily fortified border since their war in the early 1950s ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. About 28,500 American troops are deployed in South Korea as deterrence against North Korea.
© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed
WASHINGTON (CBS SF) — Transcript of the weekly address to the nation by President Donald J. Trump, released Friday, Sep. 1, 2017.
My fellow Americans,
The heartbreaking devastation and suffering caused by Hurricane Harvey has profoundly affected our entire nation. Many homes and communities have been destroyed, many lives have been upended, and tragically, some have lost their lives in this catastrophic storm.
We pray for the victims and their families—and all of those who have been displaced from their homes.
At this very moment, heroic efforts continue to keep safe those threatened by this natural disaster.
I want to say a special word of thanks to our amazing first responders — our police and law enforcement officers, firefighters, Coast Guard, National Guard, EMS, doctors, nurses, hospital workers, and volunteers who have traveled from all across the country. Thousands of people have come together to prevent loss of life and ensure safety, and we are incredibly grateful for their courage, their professionalism, and their sacrifice.
They are an inspiration to all of us.
To the people affected by Hurricane Harvey: we are with you every single step of the way. We will help you recover. We will help you rebuild. We will support you today, tomorrow, and the day after.
We have been working closely with local authorities, and I remain in close communication with Governor Abbott of Texas and Governor Edwards of Louisiana.
At the request of Governor Abbott, I declared a major disaster in the State of Texas to ensure that federal aid is available for state and local recovery efforts. I also approved a disaster declaration for Louisiana.
Organizations like the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and faith-based organizations are actively assisting on the ground and they are doing a fantastic job. I want to recognize the millions of citizens across the country who are contributing in every way they can—with their time, their resources, and their prayers.
When one part of America hurts, we all hurt. When we see neighbors in need, we rush to their aid. We don’t ask their names or where they are from—we help our fellow Americans every single time.
This is the spirit of America. It is exactly what I saw while in Texas this week—a spirit of love, determination, and resolve. A spirit, that even when wounded, never gives up—never gives in—never loses hope. We just keep fighting—we just keep pushing on, for the people we love, and for the nation we call home.
All American hearts are with the people of Texas and Louisiana. We mourn and pray and struggle through the hardships—together.
We know that a long and difficult path lies ahead to get our neighbors back in their homes and on their feet. But we also know that we are stronger than the obstacles in our path. Arm-in-arm, we will strive, we will endure, and we will emerge stronger than ever before.
Thank you. God Bless You. And God Bless the United States of America.
DEMOCRATIC PARTY RESPONSE:
Delivered by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)
EXCERPT: “Hard work isn’t paying off the way it used to … People earn less, people can’t save for retirement, and people feel less stable — all while working harder and producing more than ever before … Democrats are fighting to make your hard work pay off once again. We have proposals to raise wages and benefits, to make it easier for workers to save for retirement, to give workers more power in the workplace, and to encourage companies to invest in their greatest asset — you, the American worker.”
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump spared his ally former Sheriff Joe Arpaio a possible jail sentence on Friday by pardoning his conviction, reversing what critics saw as a long-awaited comeuppance for a lawman who escaped accountability for headline-grabbing tactics during most of his 24 years as metropolitan Phoenix’s top law enforcer.
The White House said the 85-year-old ex-sheriff was a “worthy candidate” for a presidential pardon.
“Throughout his time as Sheriff, Arpaio continued his life’s work of protecting the public from the scourges of crime and illegal immigration,” the White House statement said.
The announcement to pardon Arpaio came three days after a rally in Phoenix at which the president signaled his willingness to absolve the misdemeanor contempt-of-court conviction. It was Trump’s first pardon as president.
“So was Sheriff Joe was convicted for doing his job?” Trump asked supporters at Tuesday’s rally. “I’ll make a prediction. I think he’s going to be just fine, OK.”
Arpaio was convicted in July for contempt. A federal court said in 2016 that Arpaio’s policy as sheriff of using traffic stops and workplace raids to find suspected undocumented immigrants constituted racial profiling. He was convicted in July for ignoring the order to end traffic patrols targeting immigrants.
The pardon marked a devastating defeat for critics who believed the lawman sowed divisions by making hundreds of arrests in crackdowns that separated immigrant families and promoted a culture of cruelty by housing inmates in outdoor tents during triple-digit heat and forcing them to wear pink underwear.
They say it removed the last chance at holding Arpaio legally accountable for what they say is a long history of misconduct, including a 2013 civil verdict in which the sheriff’s officers were found to have racially profiled Latinos in his immigration patrols.
Arpaio was accused of prolonging the patrols for 17 months after a judge had ordered them stopped so that he could promote his immigration enforcement efforts in a bid to boost his ultimately successful 2012 re-election campaign. The decision to ignore the 2011 order is believed to have contributed to Arpaio’s 2016 loss to little-known retired Phoenix police Sgt. Paul Penzone.
Arpaio acknowledged extending the patrols, but insisted it wasn’t intentional, blaming one of his former attorneys for not properly explaining the importance of the court order and brushing off the conviction as a “petty crime.”
He accused then-President Barack Obama of trying to influence the 2016 sheriff’s race by announcing in court weeks before Election Day that it was willing to prosecute Arpaio.
But the charge itself wasn’t filed by prosecutors. It was recommended by the judge who presided over the profiling case and was filed by another judge, who later found Arpaio guilty of the charge. Lawyers in Trump’s Justice Department prosecuted the case at a five-day trial in late June and early July.
The TV interviews and news releases that media-savvy lawman used over the years to help promote his immigration crackdowns and win re-election came back to bite him when the judge who found him guilty cited comments the sheriff made about keeping up the patrols, even though he knew he wasn’t allowed.
The criminal case sprang from the profiling lawsuit that ultimately discredited Arpaio’s immigration patrols and is expected to cost taxpayers $92 million by next summer.
Arpaio’s office was accused in other instances of wrongdoing in the profiling case, though none led to criminal charges.
His office acknowledged throwing away or shredding some traffic-stop records during immigration patrols. The sheriff was accused ordering some immigration patrols not based on reports of crime but rather on letters from Arizonans who complained about people with dark skin congregating in an area or speaking Spanish. And Arpaio was accused of investigating the judge who presided over the profiling case — an allegation he vigorously denied.
The alliance between Trump and Arpaio centers heavily on immigration enforcement, such as getting local police officers to take part in immigration enforcement. They also have questioned the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate and have a similar history in sparring with judges.
The pardon contradicts a key theme in the movement for tougher immigration enforcement — that all people, no matter who they are, aren’t above the law. Arizona politicians have invoked the “rule of law” for more than a decade as the guiding principle in pushing for tougher immigration laws.
During the presidential campaign, Arpaio showered Trump with support. Trump, meanwhile, has invoked Arpaio’s name in his calls for tougher immigration enforcement and used some of the same immigration rhetoric and advocated for tactics that made the former Arizona lawman a national name a decade earlier.
He appeared for Trump at rallies in Iowa, Nevada and Arizona, including a huge gathering in the affluent Phoenix suburb where the sheriff lives. Arpaio also gave a speech at the Republican National Convention in which he said Trump would prevent immigrants from sneaking into the country.
Trump issued the pardon seven months after taking office, though it is not unprecedented for a president to issue a pardon in their first year in office.
The most recent president to issue a pardon so early in his term was George H. W. Bush, who granted clemency after seven months as president, said Jeffrey Crouch, a professor of politics at American University who has written a book on presidential pardons.
“Given how long it took Bill Clinton (a year and ten months), and George W. Bush and Barack Obama (about two years each), waiting a while before using clemency has become the modern practice,” Crouch said.
Earlier in his career, Arpaio had skirted two federal investigations into his misspending of $100 million in jail funds and failed criminal investigations of political enemies. Neither investigation led to charges against the sheriff or his employees.
On Friday, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón released the following statement:
Today the President pardoned a man who is best known for his repeated violations of the United States constitution. Arpaio used abhorrent tactics on the Latino community-whether documented or not-that I fought while Chief of Police in Mesa. The fact that the terror this man instilled on this entire population will not be met with consequences is simply shameful. By granting this pardon the President of these United States has emboldened white nationalists and made a mockery of the rule of law. Moments like these are a stern reminder that our shared values of tolerance and inclusion are the ultimate defense to hatred and xenophobia.
TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report