Tillerson, Mnuchin and Ross Debrief on China Summit…

As President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping wrapped up the summit in Mar-a-lago, overshadowed in media reports by U.S. missile strikes in Syria, President Xi joined with President Trump and focused on stressing the positive mood of the meetings between the world’s two biggest economies.

Team U.S.A insisted both President Trump and their delegation had made good on the pledge to raise concerns about China’s trade practices and said there was some headway. Team China and President Xi agreed to a 100-day plan for trade talks aimed at boosting U.S. exports and reducing China’s trade surplus with the United States.

Secretaries Tillerson (State), Mnuchin (Treasury) and Ross (Commerce) held a debriefing session with the media at the end of the summit.  What a stunning difference in the approach and level of direct and concise communication.  (Oh, and side note – Wilburne continues to crack me up, even in the reading of his responses.)  Here’s the transcript:

SECRETARY TILLERSON:  […]  I would open by saying the President was very happy to host President Xi at Mar-a-Lago these last two days.  As those of you that have been here know, it was obviously a perfect weather day today, and it was a great opportunity for both the Presidents and their wives to really get to know one another and enjoy, share meals together, and work on important issues.

Each side did bring along senior delegations of officials  — so, of course, we’re represented here — who also were able to build important relationships for a lot of work that’s still ahead of us.

I think what I would really want you to get a grasp of is that both the atmosphere, the chemistry between the two leaders was positive.  The posture between the two really set the tone for our subsequent meetings between our high-level delegations.  And I would tell you the exchanges were very frank.  They were candid, they were open, and they were very positive.  So I think all of us are feeling very good about the results of this summit in terms of what it did for setting a very constructive tone going forward.

The two leaders had positive, productive meetings.  President Trump and President Xi agreed to work in concert to expand areas of cooperation while managing differences based on mutual respect.

The two Presidents reviewed the current state of the bilateral relationship and noted the importance of working together to generate positive outcomes that would benefit the citizens of both of our countries.  President Trump noted the challenges caused by Chinese government intervention in its economy and raised serious concerns about the impact of China’s industrial, agricultural, technology, and cyber policies on U.S. jobs and exports.  The President underscored the need for China to take concrete steps to level the playing field for American workers, stressing repeatedly the need for reciprocal market access.

The two sides noted the urgency of the threat of North Korea’s weapons program, reaffirmed their commitment to a denuclearized Korean Peninsula, and committed to fully implement U.N. Security Council resolutions.  They agreed to increase cooperation and work with the international community to convince the DPRK to peacefully resolve the issue and abandon its illicit weapons programs.

The two sides had candid discussions on regional and maritime security.  President Trump noted the importance of adherence to international norms in the East and South China Seas and to previous statements on non-militarization.  He also noted the importance of protecting human rights and other values deeply held by Americans.

The two Presidents agreed to elevate existing bilateral talks to reflect the importance of making progress on issues.  They established a new high-level framework for negotiations.  The U.S.-China Comprehensive Dialogue will be overseen by the two Presidents, and it will have four pillars:  the diplomatic and security dialogue; the comprehensive economic dialogue; the law enforcement and cybersecurity dialogue; and the social and cultures issues dialogue.

The two sides agreed to undertake an ambitious agenda and schedule to show progress and achieve meaningful results.  President Trump welcomed President Xi’s invitation to visit China for a state visit at a future date.  They agreed to work together in the interim to ensure successful and results-focused visits.

With that, I’d like to turn it to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin.

SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Thank you.  I would just like to reiterate that we had a very productive two days with our counterparts.  And specifically we had a meeting this morning that was a breakout of the first comprehensive economic dialogue.  We had very direct and frank conversations about how we would work together.  Secretary Ross and I will be leading that jointly, and we will be focused on trade, investment, and other economic opportunities between both companies — countries.

We focused specifically on a more balanced economic relationship, specifically on trade.  And we focused on the desire to have very specific action items both in the short term for the next time we get together, as well as what the goals are over the year.  So I think we think the restructuring of the dialogue and having specifically a breakout that will address comprehensive economic opportunities across our different agencies both here and within China I think we felt was very productive, very good start in how we’re going to structure it, and again, very specific things that we talked about to look forward on making progress in the short term on.

Secretary Ross?

SECRETARY ROSS:  Thank you, Steven.  I think in many ways, the most significant thing was a 100-day plan.  Normally, trade discussions, especially between China and ourselves, are denominated in multiple years.  This was denominated in the first instance in 100 days with hopefully way stations of accomplishment along the way.  Given the range of issues and the magnitude, that may be ambitious, but it’s a very big sea change in the pace of discussions.  And I think that’s a very very important symbolization of the growing rapport between the two countries.

Press Secretary SEAN SPICER:  We’ll take a few questions.  Steve.

♦ Q    Secretary of State Tillerson, can I ask you about North Korea?  Did the President say that he might use trade against China if they do not rein in North Korea?  And did you    get any specific commitments from China to do something about the North Korea problem?

SECRETARY TILLERSON:  The Presidents’ discussions — President Trump and President Xi — on North Korea were very wide-ranging, very comprehensive, and more focused entirely on both countries’ previous commitments to denuclearize the peninsula.  There was no kind of a package arrangement discussed to resolve this.

I think President Xi, from their part, shared the view that this has reached a very serious stage in terms of the advancement of North Korea’s nuclear capabilities.  They discussed the challenges that introduces for both countries, but there’s a real commitment that we work together to see if this cannot be resolved in a peaceful way.  But in order for that to happen, North Korea’s posture has to change before there’s any basis for dialogue or discussions.

President Trump indicated to President Xi that he welcomed any ideas that President Xi and China might have as to other actions we could take and that we would be happy to work with them, but we understand it creates unique problems for them and challenges and that we would, and are, prepared to chart our own course if this is something China is just unable to coordinate with us.

♦ Q    Two quick questions for Secretary Tillerson, and one for Secretary Ross.   Previous administrations have been very tough on North Korea — sorry — tough on China in terms of human rights violations.  And I was wondering if that came up and if this administration plans to pressure the Chinese on human rights violations.  And the second question, if I may have the opportunity to ask since you’re here on Syria — a lot of the American people are concerned that yesterday’s actions mean we’re going to war.  And I was hoping if you could just clarify — is this just a one-fit situation, or is this going to be part of a — campaign to try to the Assad government?

SECRETARY TILLERSON:  As to the discussions around human rights in China, I think America’s values are quite clear and they really occupied a core of all of our discussions.  I don’t think you have to have a separate conversation, somehow separate our core values around human rights from our economic discussions, our military-to-military discussions, or our foreign policy discussions.  They’re really embedded in every discussion, that that is really what guides much of our view around how we’re going to work together.

As to Syria, I think as was indicated in our statements last night, this particular strike that was carried out on the airbase from which the chemical weapons attack was launched was very deliberately considered by the President.

It is a response that we believe is both proportional and appropriate.  And as we said last night, we will monitor Syria’s response to that strike in terms of whether they attack our own forces or coalition forces, or whether we detect that they are considering mobilizing to take additional chemical weapons attacks.  And I’d say at this point the future will be guided by how we see their reaction.

♦  Q    Thank you.  And for you, Secretary Ross, I was wondering if talked to the Chinese about cracking down on any banks or companies that may be working with North Korea.

SECRETARY ROSS:  As you know, Commerce fined ZTE, the second largest telecom company for making equipment in China, $1.170 billion recently.  So they recognize that that shows our clear determination to crack down on that sort of activity.

SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  And I would just also emphasize Treasury obviously manages multiple sanctions programs, some specifically towards North Korea, and we have had direct conversations with our counterparts in China about working with us on those.

♦  Q    Did the Chinese agree to do anything that will make it easier for American companies to export to China?

SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  I think there was definitely an acknowledgement by them on the trade issue that we do need to get to a more balanced trade environment.  We did begin those discussions today, but I would just emphasize there was a lot going on in two days.  And although we had some specific conversations, as Secretary Ross, mentioned, the plan is for us to develop a 100-day plan, and we would expect to see some very specific items on that.

♦ Q    Will you move forward with a plan to label China a currency manipulator?

SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  I would just comment on, I think as you know, the currency report is going to come out in the near future, and we will address that when it comes out.

SECRETARY ROSS:  As other trade issues, you would not have expected us to reach agreement in a few hours of meetings.  The issues are far more complex and far more deep rooted.  But 100-days is a very, very short time for trade.

♦  Q    Did you discuss the environment and environmental commitments?  And what was your response if China asked for more commitments from the United States on that issue?

SECRETARY ROSS:  That was not a major part of the discussion, nor do I recall the Chinese specifically raising it.

♦ Q    There was anticipation that President Xi would come with some sort of gift for President Trump — infrastructure investment, something that would demonstrate a Chinese commitment to having more jobs in the U.S.  Was there anything like that?

SECRETARY ROSS:  The best gift was his presence and the relationship what was built up between our President and President Xi.

♦  Q    Secretary Tillerson, Chinese media is reporting that President Trump was invited to visit China in 2017.  Can you clarify just if that was the year that you’ve agreed to do this?

SECRETARY TILLERSON:  The President did accept the invitation of President Xi to visit China.  Now, the invitation was for a 2107 visit.  The President said that he would look at the dates, and we would work with them to see when that visit might occur.

♦  Q    Secretary Ross, could you give a couple of examples of the kind of way stations that people might see in the 100-day time?

SECRETARY ROSS:  The exact way stations are a matter of negotiation itself.  But, directionally, the objective is to increase our exports to China and to reduce the trade deficit that we have with them.

♦  Q    When you say that there was a recognition by the Chinese and acknowledgement of the trade issue that it needs to be a more balanced environment, what did they say exactly?  That seems like that’s sort of off message for them.

SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  I don’t think it was off message at all.  Again, I think they look at — we have very similar economic interests, and I think there are areas that they clearly want to work with us.  And as Secretary Ross said the objective is for us to increase our exports to them.  It’s a very big market, and there will be more opportunities for both exports as well as investments.

♦  Q    We were told — sorry, did you want to say something, Secretary Ross?

SECRETARY ROSS:  What I was going to say was simply that it was a very wide range of products that we discussed, not a particularly limited one.  And the most interesting thing to me was they expressed an interest in reducing their net trade balance because of the impact it’s having on money supply and inflation.  That’s the first time I’ve heard them say that in a bilateral context.

♦  Q    We were informed that President Xi was informed of the Syria strikes during dinner yesterday, and so I was wondering if you could maybe explain what the reaction was from the Chinese as to this.  They’ve usually been very opposed — in the U.N. at least — on acts against Syria.

And so since the three of you are here, we saw that all three of you were in the photo in the Situation Room, as this was playing out.  So I’d be very interested to hear — especially it’s not common to see maybe the Treasury Secretary or the Commerce Secretary in those situations.  So if you can say what role you were playing and maybe what your thoughts were while this was unfolding.

SECRETARY TILLERSON:  The President did directly inform President Xi near the end of the dinner yesterday evening as the missiles that are launched were impacting, which was about 8:40 p.m. last night.

The President told President Xi that we had launched a strike against Syria as a result of Assad’s violation — multiple violations of the use of chemical weapons against his own citizens, including the killing of women, children, and babies.  The President provided President Xi the number of missiles that were launched and explained the rationale behind it.

President Xi I think expressed an appreciation for the President letting him know and providing the rationale and said, as it was told to me, indicated that he understood that such a response is necessary when people are killing children.

Now, China has issued its own statements.  I’m sure those are available to you.  I have read them on them on the wire service, as well.

As to the Situation Room, before I turn it to the two Secretaries to give you kind of their color on what was going on, I think it is important for everyone to recognize a couple of things on the Syrian attack.

First, it was an overwhelming success.  I think the performance our military and the expertise and the power of what the U.S. military is able to execute on a fairly short planning window was extraordinary.  And I think all Americans, and, indeed, I think all our allies in the free world should take great comfort in what occurred with that strike last night.  And Americans should be very proud of their men and women in uniform.

SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  I would just not only echo what Secretary Tillerson said, but I think, as you know, the Treasury Department has very important functions in terms of sanctions and other intelligence — financial intelligence functions that I have been participating in.  So on the National Security Council, the Treasury Department does participate in that.

We will be announcing additional sanctions on Syria as part of our ongoing effort to stop this type of activity and emphasize how significant we view this.  And we expect that those will continue to have an important effect on preventing people from doing business with them.

♦  Q    Can you elaborate on the sanctions a little bit?

SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Again, they will be coming out in the near future.  But I would just say we view sanctions as being a very important tool, whether it’s North Korea or whether it’s Syria.  These sanctions are very important and we will use them to the maximum effect.

SECRETARY ROSS:  To me, the most dramatic thing about being in the Situation Room as he was making the decision was the thoroughness of the support and information that went into it, the consultation he did with a wide range of military and diplomatic and economic advisors, and the utter seriousness and thoughtfulness with which he made this very grave decision.

In terms of the strikes themselves, it’s my understanding that they took out something like 20 percent of the entire Syrian air force.  So it was huge not just in terms of number of planes but relative to the scale of their air force.

♦  Q    Secretary Tillerson, you talked about the great success.  The AFP is reporting that the runway is still operational and is actually being used.  Is that accurate?  And can you comment on whether that was your intent, and if that puts a damper on the success of the operation?

SECRETARY TILLERSON:  The runways were not the target due to the nature of the construction of those runways.  Our military estimate was that we could not do serious damage to the runways.  They are very thick and they’re constructed in a way that the ordnance that were used, while would have damaged them — the damage would have been easily repaired in a matter of hours.

So the targeting was selected very deliberately to render the airbase essentially inoperable as an operating base, and that means taking out all the infrastructure, the fueling capability, all the support infrastructure, hangars.  And, indeed, there were a number of Syrian aircraft that were destroyed on the ground.  Those were the targets that were selected for that very specific reason.

So the fact that planes may be landing in and out of there, they’re not refueling and they’re not able to certainly initiate any activity from that airfield today.

♦  Q    Can I also ask you a follow-up on reports that the United States is investigating Russia’s role in the gas attacks themselves?  How far are you in this investigation, and what’s your confidence level and the direction on that, please?

SECRETARY TILLERSON:  I don’t have any particular information I think that it would be appropriate to share with you at this point.  Obviously we continue to gather the information that we can through our intelligence sources, as well as shared sources from other countries as well.  And so I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to comment on that at this time.

♦  Q    Russia has come out very strongly against the attack, calling it an “act of aggression.”  Do you have a message for the Russians or a response to that?

SECRETARY TILLERSON:  I’m disappointed in that response from the Russians because it indicates their continued support for the Assad regime and, in particular, their continued support for a regime that carries out these type of horrendous attacks on their own people.  So I find it very disappointing, but, sadly, I have to tell you, not all that surprising.

♦  Q    There were reports prior to today that President Trump was planning to sign an executive order that would target countries that dump steel into the United States.  Was that correct, and is he still planning to do so, if so?

SECRETARY ROSS:  The practice is to announce executive orders and executive memoranda when they’re issued, not in response to rumors.

♦  Q    Can you just if Westinghouse was talked about at all, and the scale of the bankruptcy of Westinghouse — was that even a topic?

SECRETARY ROSS:  That was not a topic in today’s session, but we have been looking very carefully at that and the alternatives, both from an economic, from an energy generation and from a national security point of view.

SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  And I would just comment that it — obviously, any such transaction that involved foreign investment would go through the normal CFIUS process.

Thank you.

MR. SPICER:  Thank you guys very much.  Have a great weekend.

END 4:22 P.M. EDT

 

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This entry was posted in China, Donald Trump, media bias, President Trump, Secretary Tillerson, Trade Deal, Uncategorized, US Treasury. Bookmark the permalink.

202 Responses to Tillerson, Mnuchin and Ross Debrief on China Summit…

  1. highground01 says:

    President Trump & Company just made more headway with China than the last 4 Administrations have combined.

    Liked by 64 people

  2. Killdozer says:

    So lets cut through the bullsh!t is Trump going to be able to ship around the South China Sea ? or are we going to pretend that doesn’t matter anymore

    Like

    • A2 says:

      No one is pretending that China’s island building is not an issue. It is for all the S Asian nations (backed by decisions at the Hague) and these nations have made their positions clear, as has the US.

      No stoppage to shipping has occurred. Just interference by the Chinese navy to fishing boats. This will be resolved, but not today.

      Liked by 9 people

    • Maquis says:

      A2 is correct. It’s in work. But President Trump did indeed bring up the “…importance of abiding international and maritime mores in the East and South China Seas.” Highly Paraphrased… Go read it for yourself, this entire briefing was very substantial and eddykashunal.

      If pressed for time, you will find Secretary Tillerson discuss this part of President Trump’s discussions in the Seventh Paragraph of Secretary Tillerson’s initial remarks, almost right from the start of this post.

      I must say, I find the way these guys do business, and their frank and competent openess to be very fascinating and encouraging. These are impressive men. It’s a great read. Also, follow the link Sundance put near the top to Spicer’s Press Briefing; very informative on the Syria decision making process, again, impressive. Great to see

      100 days. Next meeting in 100 days, with way stations before then, talks elevated, to be led by the two Presidents themselves, and highly accelerated, typically these time scales are years.

      PDJT and his team are profoundly competent, quick thinking, full steam ahead, and screw lazy past precedents of incremental tit for tat years long snooze-fests. President Trump clearly seeks one legacy above all others: MAGA!

      Liked by 31 people

      • As always, a very insightful set of observations, Maquis.

        100 days with way stations for progress:
        This was a brilliant framework to drive success.
        Way stations are benchmarks that each side will be striving for.
        – America will be striving for outcomes – pragmatic, impactful building blocks.
        – China will be striving to keep up – instead of obstruct.
        – The faster things move, the harder for China – they culturally take forever.
        – President Xi will NOT want to lose face by failing to progress right out of the blocks.

        Like

      • President Trump will expect progress on the 100 day plan as a hurdle to cross before scheduling any state visit to China.

        President Xi will be in NO position to ask for the date until the NORK problem has been addressed and the TRADE DEFICIT is rapidly closing.

        Liked by 1 person

    • R-C says:

      I can’t even take your comment & question seriously. Sorry; you’ve presented yourself as a lightweight.

      Liked by 9 people

    • Joan says:

      What bullshit?

      Liked by 2 people

    • SpanglishKC says:

      Def read the transcript. One of my take-aways. His Excellency is interested in results not words. Doesn’t want to have endless meetings or State visits if nothing actionable / results come of it. Remember:

      Like

    • dutzie60 says:

      If this wasn’t the Interwebs, I’d be making a joke re: your question and your chosen screen name. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. KY Steve says:

    The tone and information addressed was so different from previous administrations. What came through to me was that we’ve got an all star team for a line up. We’re in good hands.

    Liked by 37 people

  4. A2 says:

    Tillerson, the man called Wilbur and Mnuchin. What a team. I even respected the questions from the peanut gallery.
    100 days. Get em Wilbur.
    Booyah.

    Liked by 44 people

  5. A2 says:

    I posted this on the earlier thread on the Trump-Xi summit. It gives more details as to the restructuring and platform for future talks..
    http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2085889/china-suggests-new-platform-regular-dialogue-us

    Liked by 6 people

  6. A2 says:

    President Xi visited with the Governor of Alaska at a fueling stop in Alaska on his way home.
    http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2086021/chinas-xi-stops-alaska-after-summit-trump

    Liked by 14 people

    • Interesting that the Chinese President actually flew a chartered Star Alliance jet. One would have thought he would have a Chinese analog to Air Force One.

      Liked by 2 people

      • A2 says:

        It would be bad optics back hone and seen as extravagance or wastefulness from the head of the Party who has made fighting corruption a cornerstone of his administration (quite a contrast to the Zero administration).

        Liked by 2 people

        • President Xi’s crafted image for “fighting corruption” creates a powerful card for President Trump to use to our advantage:

          When President Trump shared with Xi that America’s missile barrage against Syria was underway, he made it impossible for Xi NOT to acknowledge it was needed:

          Xi “indicated that he understood that such a response is necessary when people are killing children”.

          Like

          • A2 says:

            Yes indeed. I posted that quote, and the comments Xi made to the Chinese media on the other thread. Many of the reporters were from HK as they were speaking amongst themselves in Cantonese hence the articles in the SCMP scooping the western papers.

            Your comment on trade/NK resolutions before a state visit is also spot on. As I have said a few weeks ago I believe the Chinese leadership has made a decision on NK, however the timing and the steps taken to address Kim no. 3 will roll out slowly, but steadily.

            A minor point that caught my attention at the summit was when President Trump said he found meeting the delegation, ‘very interesting’. It caught my attention because it is a common euphemistic expression in Chinese (很有意思). It is often used to avoid making a comment that might be construed confrontational, gives a verbal breathing space for further thought. Hence I presumed the trade talks will be tough, but solvable.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. The press conferences with multiple Trump Admin members are being executed with precision. The level of professionalism and on point messaging is staggering to behold.

    Liked by 38 people

  8. BG2 says:

    Feel the change.
    The trivial Obama socialist creche vs the grown up Secretary billionaires who love America.
    The incredible difference in competence, personal confidence and body language from the Trump cabinet vs Obama’s ineffectual whiny haters of American society looking for revenge.

    It’s wonderful.

    Liked by 41 people

    • i'm just sayin'.. says:

      People who measure results, not feelings….

      Liked by 20 people

      • wondering999 says:

        Feelings matter also… and gotta say, I’m feeling better than I have in years, like my fate is in the hands of more competent people. I pray daily for their success and well-being… which relates directly to well-being of me and my loved ones. Feeling a whole lot better!

        Liked by 8 people

    • sunnydaze says:

      Trump’s people were chosen for expertise in their fields.

      Obama’s people were political favors and “PC Looks”, not because they knew anything about the matters at hand.

      HUGE difference!

      Like

  9. M33 says:

    ” Now, the invitation was for a 2107 visit. ”

    Woof… that’s a long long ways away…

    Liked by 3 people

  10. aProvider says:

    Finally we have adults in charge, taking the children to school.

    Liked by 17 people

  11. Aqua says:

    Positive and productive discussions, with timelines and objectives carefully articulated. You can tell that a great deal of thought went into planning for this meeting. Their hard work shows.

    I enjoy seeing how Tillerson, Mnuchin and Ross work together, along with President Trump–you would think they have been doing this for years.

    It was important for us to get to see the President of China, too–he seems like a very smart, hard working leader, too, with vast responsibilities. And his wife seemed lovely. Maybe they found more common ground to help build a base for future discussions.

    Three well-done head of state visits in just one week–has this ever been done before?

    Liked by 23 people

  12. be says:

    President Trump continues to be amazing, his Secretary picks are brilliant.
    Trump is working on multiple things as we know, cleaning up the mess from all past years plus the positive forward movements. He has met with leaders so fast and many his support is now way up world wide.
    Also the fact that NO LEAKS regarding the bombing of the state operated airport. NONE and this was known by many for several days.
    Thank you President Trump.

    Liked by 26 people

  13. Joe S says:

    These must be the “klllers” that Candidate Trump was talking about during his campaign when he referenced that he would have people negotiating for the US that we would not necessarily want to have over for dinner.

    Liked by 19 people

    • Regina says:

      I’ve pulled that memory out every time the noise started over this or that Cabinet nomination – these are Accomplished people, who know how to support a leader’s agenda 100%. Thank God we finally have a leader with a Plan.

      Liked by 6 people

      • Maquis says:

        A Righteous plan.

        Zero did have a plan, but he was playing for the other team.

        Liked by 5 people

      • tommyd22 says:

        These cabinet members are all Highly accomplished leaders in their own right and you can bet they have no intention of doing anything other than leaving their own lasting mark on what will be a crowning achievement to their long and highly successful careers. And that will be a big win for America if not the world.
        The former administration did not have even a clue as to how to run a lemon aid stand because they never had done anything in their lives that amounted to a hill of beans..

        The difference we are seeing now brings to the light of day just how inept the previous administration was in almost every respect..

        Liked by 10 people

        • jmbuck says:

          Great comment. Totally agree! I don’t think we have ever had such an accomplished team working for the betterment of the country. At least not in my life time. Exciting times!

          Also, what a great example of “how it’s done” they are setting for upcoming generation in terms of competency and service to the nation. Outstanding!

          Liked by 1 person

    • pyromancer76 says:

      I see respect — with authority. I don’t think that makes a “killer” at the outset. However, if talks break down, our leaders will protect their own. This kind of aura, with real experience to back it up, is what is America’s real depth.

      No one surpasses us on this kind of know-how. Real billionaires, with real accomplishments in the real world of xxx competition. Not crony corporate-types who need their noses wiped by government $$$ and hand-holding every time they whine.

      It is the respect for the other leaders I really like. Proper wining and dining. Intelligent listening. Working toward a future together.

      It also says we can work together, but be very careful. Implied is: you haven’t needed to be careful in the past because we had a pretender(s) in office. No more pretenders.

      I think this is the meaning of “killers’. They know how to deal, and if you don’t, you lose.

      Also in reality, in deals, someone often loses and the loser has to learn their weaknesses in order to regroup to win another day. China hasn’t lost in a real deal in a very, very long time. Our so-called patriots have been handing them the U.S. economy and more on a silver platter. No morel

      No, you don’t want to have this expectation around when you have friends over for dinner.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Howie says:

    The President was elected on several main issues.
    Better trade deals
    More manufacturing in USA for good jobs Getting rid of Obamacare
    Tamping down PC and Social Justice
    Reducing Federal Regulations to help our business ventures
    Stopping the Muzzie hoardes
    Closing up the borders
    This is what he is trying to do. The butt hurt Cruzbot Ku Ku’s and the Globalists no likee.
    Get em’ out and take their coats. We haz work to do.

    Liked by 22 people

  15. ok4ayl says:

    I long for the ramblings of Austin Goolsby…..Remember those? He could take “FACTS” and turn them into a Obama success story. All those “PHONY” employment numbers, job creation, the ever growing GDP….:) Awwww, those were the days……MAGA!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. George Wallace says:

    Wow. So professional.

    After 8 long years – maybe 12 – we at last have very smart, experienced people in charge in the US.

    The Chinese will have huge respect for these guys. That’s hard to earn from the Chinese and it’s incredibly important. They will leave knowing the rules have changed and will recalibrate accordingly.

    Liked by 20 people

  17. TwoLaine says:

    A Purr-fect example of Peace Through Strength.
    SO Refreshing!

    Surround yourself with like brilliant minds, with a conviction to America First, and may you never get tired of WINNING.

    #MAGA

    Liked by 11 people

  18. MakeAmericaGreat says:

    What is so great now is that, with most of the core cabinet in place, the media doesn’t get to pick on people like Stephen Miller or Kellyanne Conway. They have to deal with super heavyweights like Tillerson, Mnuchin and Ross. People who will verbally and intellectually decimate them if they step out of line.

    The media liked picking on the weak spokespeople. No more of that. Wilbur Ross isn’t getting banned from Morning Joe.

    It’s a whole different ballgame now. And it will remain so moving forward. Trump finally has suitable spokespersons who can present and defend his vision with clarity and authority.

    This week was a turning point in the course of the administration. The Russia sideshow is receding into the background and the focus is coming into clarity in places where it should, such as ObamaGate. Trump just met with Xi. Gorsuch is now a justice on the Supreme Court. Trump showed his gravitas with Syria.

    We’re finally stepping into the world we envisioned when we voted for Trump last November. The previous, infantile and radical administration is gone and the adults are back in charge.

    Ready to move forward, full steam ahead.

    Liked by 24 people

    • Raven says:

      “We’re finally stepping into the world we envisioned when we voted for Trump last November. The previous, infantile and radical administration is gone and the adults are back in charge.”

      Loved everything you wrote, MakeAmericaGreat.

      But the last two lines made me cry in thankfulness to God. Such a blessing to step into the world we envisioned when we backed, fought for, worked for, lost friends over, voted for and as we continue to support our President, Donald J. Trump.

      Liked by 15 people

      • MakeAmericaGreat says:

        Amen, Raven. God is good. And we are finally through this unbelievable time roaming through the wilderness of the last decades.

        We’re all lost friends in this battle. People who don’t understand how serious this fight is and who don’t understand they are literally just giving away everything that has made America what she is.

        But now, it’s changing. It’s not all going to change in one day, and the black hats are not simply going to give up, but we finally have real leadership and real courage in the White House again.

        It’s been a nightmare to get to this point, but thank goodness we are finally here.

        Liked by 14 people

    • catmom says:

      Great comment. Another great day in America! This place is truly the last refuge from the insanity. I thought things would calm down after the election. I could not have been more wrong. Twitter is melting down at breakneck speed and most bloggers have completely lost their way. Not here. Thanks to SD and all the great Treepers who hold down the fort day after day with such good comments and insights. #MAGA

      Liked by 12 people

      • MakeAmericaGreat says:

        Yes, we are a great community here and Sundance is leading the way, showing the same kind of realistic flexibility that Trump himself has shown on issues like Syria.

        No one is perfect and the world will never be perfect. We deal with it as it is, and as events come up. That’s such a refreshing change with Trump — he is a reality-based (rather than ideology-based) person who knows how to get things done.

        As someone said the other day, the missile launch against Syria was like Trump’s inauguration. Now we can finally get down to real business after months of nonsense and distraction.

        Liked by 2 people

    • georgiafl says:

      “Wilbur Ross isn’t getting banned from Morning Joe.”

      It is doubtful that Secretary Ross or Secretary Mnuchin would waste a minute of their time on the petty parrot pundits of the Morning Joe propaganda outlet.

      They would be scared to mess with him or Mnuchin.

      Liked by 14 people

      • MakeAmericaGreat says:

        Great point, Georgia

        Liked by 1 person

      • SpanglishKC says:

        You are more right than you know. Ross isn’t banned MSM is scared to death following the total and irrefutable beat down Jake Tapper suffered when Wilbur was on State of the Union a short time ago. SD had it posted on the CTH and it was a must watch to witness the Secretary in total control, intelligently humorous and Jake the snake totally annihilated.

        Liked by 3 people

        • georgiafl says:

          I’m salivating just hearing your description! Thanks for the link – I’ll watch it after yard work is done!

          Liked by 1 person

        • mamadogsite says:

          The MSM is so used t3o interviewing people of their own ideologies, intellect, experience, education and IQs, that they stagger and stammer with questions and responses when faced with far superior people. Sorta fun to watch.

          Like

    • NYGuy54 says:

      Absolutely the best week of his presidency. Pres Trump is growing into his office and world leaders are showing him some respect.

      Liked by 5 people

    • In AZ says:

      I really enjoy listening to Stephen Miller. Impressive.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. R-C says:

    Two points leapt out during my ‘first read’ of this transcript:

    (1) It must be a cool cucumber indeed to host a dinner for the head of state of a major foreign power, making nice, and then at the moment of impact, say to that dignitary, “Oh, by the way, we’ve launched 59 cruise missiles at Syrian targets, and they’re impacting right now…” –I don’t care what the tedious ‘never Trumpers’ might squeal on the matter, but I know I elected the RIGHT man to serve as my President.

    (2) Reading the straightforward answers given by the cabinet secretaries–NO tedious ‘double-speak’–reaffirmed to me that Mr. Trump KNOWS how to pick a staff. The next “Jared Hater” comes my way? –I point them to Tillerson, Mnuchin, and Ross. If Trump could pick THOSE gems to serve us in positions of national importance, which he did, then Trump clearly knows how to pick ’em. His personal staff is his own business.

    (3) Secretary Ross is a KEEPER! His answer to the ‘dumping steel’ question was pure gold: “The practice is to announce executive orders and executive memoranda when they’re issued, not in response to rumors.” –This reminded me of the many, many times that President Trump would speak on the campaign trail of the ‘corporate killers’ we have in the US, lamenting the fact that “we don’t USE them!” Well, we’re using one now! Ross is not to be messed with.

    Liked by 29 people

  20. frank field says:

    Again, Sundance, thank you for letting us “under the hood” of this administration.

    Comforting. Informative. Praiseworthy. What a cabinet!

    Liked by 11 people

  21. Kjf says:

    SD was correct, reading the transcript was refreshing. Very unfimiliar to have 3 people talking out of their mouths and not the backside.

    Liked by 5 people

    • E C says:

      I prefer the transcripts to the videos. I feel like I’m digesting more by seeing it than hearing (kind of like Jeopardy)

      Liked by 4 people

      • wondering999 says:

        The transcripts make a difference. I like to read before watching; I “get” more from the audio with less effort.

        There is a movement called “Universal Design”
        http://www.universaldesign.com/
        The idea behind it is that when multiple ways of accessing materials are available, a much broader audience discovers far greater convenience/comfort/accessibility. A lot of people who are *not* considered “disabled” nonetheless find it easier to access buildings, materials, etc. if designers have paid a little more attention to easy access.

        It rocks to have both the transcript and the audio. THANK YOU.
        AND as I’ve gotten older, my appreciation for 14-point typefaces just goes up every year…. love larger print, no strain whatsoever to read quickly and accurately. The 8-pt phone books and maps that I used to read effortlessly… well not so much anymore.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. georgiafl says:

    “The U.S.-China Comprehensive Dialogue will be overseen by the two Presidents, and it will have four pillars: the diplomatic and security dialogue; the comprehensive economic dialogue; the law enforcement and cybersecurity dialogue; and the social and cultures issues dialogue.”

    Music to my ears – the Trump administration means business and will protect American interests, American jobs, American security and the American people in all those areas.

    Liked by 10 people

    • Howie says:

      Once he gets things corrected China will be a great market to sell to. Russia too. The Uniparty congresscrooks have given away the ranch of our intellectual property for a little bit of graft in their pockets Since Bush1. Our good president is not an isolationist. Far from it, but he is for America First, last, and always.

      Liked by 2 people

  23. flawesttexas says:

    Had to note:

    16 years ago…almost near this date…George W Bush was kowtowing to Communist China after they abducted US military personnel after forcing their military plane down…

    Bush Admin…NeoCons were whining…saying…”well..we need to allow China to ‘save face'” Communist China eventually released our forces…after some weeks.

    Meanwhile…today…Donald Trump is firing Patriots on a belligerent while the Communist Chinese dictator is visiting him. Oh yeah!

    Communist China is a bigger threat to the US than Russia because of our massive trade deficit with them. Bad Trade has redistributed American wealth to them. That must stop.

    Finally have a POTUS addressing this

    Liked by 13 people

  24. Regina says:

    I listen to these rational, well-spoken men and finally feel like I’m back in a world that makes sense.

    I also love the fact that unlike his jokes during the campaign to “take them to McDonalds” (in response to O’s star-studded Hollywood state dinner for Xi), our President actually invited this delegation into his own home. Think of the difference it makes to have foreign leaders treated as actual Guests of the President, as opposed to being shoved into some hotel in DC. As others have noted – they all come out smiling and happy.

    So thankful we have a Businessman (with his own resources) instead of a politician running our country!

    Liked by 13 people

    • vidlbis says:

      I like that – “rational.” I think you’ve got something there. Here’s what I think:
      Cognitive dissonance world (that we were in for quite a few years) – just doesn’t work, because unreality based, therefore – unrational.
      Bizarro world is maybe the best name for it, and the left is still living there and seems to be refusing to reposition to reality. Sad for them, because it’s actually a death spiral – in the long run if they don’t wise up, they go bye-bye.
      Bizarro world is an evolutionary dead end. Just saying, I don’t hate them, I used to be one of them.
      In the long run, everything works out. After all, God is in charge, and God is good.
      God is totally – rational. **)

      Like

  25. Shouldn’t Jared and Ivanka be debriefed, because you know they’re running everything now.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Regina says:

    Just noticed that the link to the transcript directs to Spicer’s press gaggle – here’s the link to the above readout
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/04/07/briefing-secretary-tillerson-secretary-mnuchin-and-secretary-ross

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Joan says:

    Thank you for this post, Sundance. How wonderful that we have adults running the country. I especially just love Tillerson.

    Liked by 3 people

    • kittytrump84 says:

      What an impeccable team! Really amazing after so many years of bumbling idiots and liars

      Liked by 3 people

    • E C says:

      Someone posts the president’s daily schedule and it seems he meets with a cabinet member not everyday but often, particularly Tillerson. I’m trying to remember if BO met often with people in his cabinet or did we just not care?

      Like

    • wondering999 says:

      Yes and thanks again to Mrs. Tillerson who was willing to share him with the rest of the country… unselfish woman. I know a lot of people who wouldn’t have encouraged a capable spouse to sacrifice this way. I hope his family is rewarded and proud. I’m grateful

      Liked by 2 people

  28. teajr says:

    Dammit, the nuance embedded into the various Sec’s responses are heavy and deep. We have some truly heavy badasses in place atm. Dream come true! Brinkmanship..

    Liked by 3 people

  29. wolfmoon1776 says:

    Wilburine is great. He just shoots down one feckless, China-lackey, Hillary-enabled, idiotic press question after another, without even acknowledging the agenda or the insanity.

    Nobody does denial of agenda questions like Wilburine. NOBODY.

    Liked by 7 people

    • MW says:

      He is the man!

      Liked by 2 people

    • JC says:

      He was simply awesome, Wolf. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say… every single time. I feel my eyes sparkling when this unassuming-looking man steps up to speak, hehe.

      Liked by 2 people

      • wolfmoon1776 says:

        Unassuming! YES! That’s it.

        When he walks up and starts talking, I always get this feeling that suddenly he’s wearing a toga and standing in the Roman Senate in some movie like Gladiator, and – OMG – THAT is the level this otherwise unassuming man is really operating on. That kind of mind. History-making.

        And THAT is the difference. Trump found people who were ready to step up and make history. Obama looked for people who ALREADY had a name.
        People who were more hat than cattle, more name than substance, and more talk than action, that he could control. People who would do it his way, even in the details. NOT goal-oriented people who only needed an order to deliver.

        Liked by 1 person

  30. Pam says:

    Liked by 3 people

  31. missmarple2 says:

    Whenever I hear the usual stuff from the left (President Trump is dumb, a buffoon, impulsive, etc. etc. etc.) I just point to the cabinet members, who are all of high sccomplishment and integrity. These 3 featured in this debriefing are men of integrity and intellect. The idea that they would work for a carnival barker is just ridiculous.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Thanks to the CTH, I understand the motives and reasons the MSM are not covering any of this.

    Yet, I still find myself dumbfounded that the MSM are not covering THE HISTORICAL PROGRESS BEING MADE WHILE IT IS OCCURING! HOPE IS BEING RESTORED THROUGH EXTRAORDINARY LEADERSHIP, ALL IN “REAL TIME”. These are some of the GREATEST STORIES OF OUR LIFETIME! America’s history is becoming richer and richer by the day!

    Mr. President, we will make sure the history is preserved accurately and printed correctly in our children’s history books!!

    It is SO SAD that so many people are not witnessing this amazing time in history being made! God Bless you SD and my fellow treepers!!

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Sorry about the CAPS! I am not yelling, just TOTALLY DUMBFOUNDED!

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Orygun says:

    Wilbur Ross maybe the next famous “one liner”. His comments are so direct as to be hilarious!

    Liked by 3 people

  35. missmarple2 says:

    I agree with you, deplorablejenny! Remember when Obama was inaugurated and there were all these books and magazines and such? I remmeber because they were in the check-out line at the grocery for weeks and weeks.

    This time? Nothing.

    I swear, if the RNC wanted to do a fundraiser, they should sell a book with commemorative photos of the campaign and the Inauguration. I know I would buy one. I would proabably pay up to $100 for it, too.

    I am so appreciative of President Trump’s digital media team, because I can get updates and photos on the internet. It sure would be nice to have a book, though.

    Actually, they should have a monthly magazine to document all of the things that are happening.

    And like you, I am TOTALLY DUMBFOUNDED!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherlock says:

      100% correct. My wife was at the inauguration and did what she could to commemorate the event, but a nice book would be great. Further, I’m waiting for someone to write a book about the campaign from start to finish. One of the greatest political stories ever.

      Liked by 2 people

  36. ❤ Wilburine ❤

    T-Rex and Mnuchin are great too, but Wilburine gets the hearts!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. JC says:

    It’s mind-boggling to compare and contrast the bumbling, egotistical, greedy, foolish sycophants to The Professionals. Astonishing.

    Bush league vs the best pros out there. Finally… the Statesmen America deserves… thank you, Mr. President, and thank you, God.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. jupitercomm says:

    In the words of the great American philosopher, William James, there is such a thing as a “foolish consistency”

    Like

  39. Shadrach says:

    You guys already mentioned my favorite comments from that transcript, so I’ll just note that it looks like Xi and Trump are getting along very well, judging from the synchronicity of their bodies in the photographs SD posted. Underrated ability of our President to find common ground with everyone he meets. That man finds friends wherever he goes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bendix says:

      Don’t you feel a sense of relief? I know I do.
      The grownups are in charge.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Shadrach says:

        Oh goodness yes. Things work so much better when we all like each other. Things that could be “oh, now I’m going to blow you up” turn into “I don’t like what you said, let’s talk it over” when there’s mutual respect and understanding.

        Like

      • JC says:

        Absolutely, Bendix. Professionals with a commitment to excellence, not to lining their own pockets. Night. And. Day.

        I was “a cat on a hit tin roof” every minute of the eight awful years of the last administration, wondering how far and how badly we were being sold down the river, and if we would survive and recover. Now, it feels like each day is a leap forward to what we always could and should have been. For the first time ever, I enjoy tracking government, everything President Trump and international diplomacy. Whodathunkit? Whew.

        Like

  40. litenmaus says:

    Remember the uproar when China took an underwater drone? Trump said ‘let ’em keep it’ and then went on to serve sorbet with a side of Tomahawks for dessert – I love my President.

    http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-china-drone-trump-20161218-story.html

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Howie says:

    The deal is to sell quality American products in to the Chinese market. The crooked globalists have shipped our tech, and know how over there and are selling in to that market locally in addition to selling back to us. A double dip that hits the USA worker between the eyes. It is not ‘populism’ to try and undo the damage the Uniparty paid off politicians have done with their deals and schemes to line their pockets while degrading and destroying our country.. Those trades are neither fair or free.
    Get em’ out and take their stakes.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Bendix says:

    I was going to mention the atmosphere of mutual respect, but Secretary Tillerson beat me to it. Well, I’ve mentioned it anyway, because it is different, and refreshing.

    Like

  43. Bull Durham says:

    There is a typo in the text that is very funny and hopeful. A visit to China by President Trump in 2107. That’s something I am looking forward to. May the good Lord allow America that long a run of MAGA.

    Like

    • Bull Durham says:

      Thanks to Sundance for the Text of the comments.
      Too bad the press doesn’t ask questions as on the mark as CTHers do.
      China not requesting US action on the environment was the dopiest question.
      Also, no questions in pursuit of North Korea, Japan vis-a-vis China? That dynamic among the countries is volatile. It would have been interesting to get their “feel” for how China would deal with Kim if he refuses to negotiate.

      Like

    • vidlbis says:

      Noticed that – yep, agree.

      Like

  44. bertdilbert says:

    Trump addresses China delegation.

    Good evening, it is a pleasure to have you here. Welcome to the Winter White House.

    As you know there was a recent chemical weapons release in Syria. Dead children and dead babies are something that I do not condone. Just to keep you up to date on world events, I have launched 60 Tomahawk missiles which are currently landing on a Syrian airbase.

    I could have sent the message with 12 cruise missiles, but if you know my style, it is to under promise and over deliver. By sending 60 missiles, everyone knows the message came directly from me and not some underling in the defense department.

    We hope you enjoy your stay here with us and if you need anything at all, just ask and it will be provided.

    One of the issues facing us is North Korea. We have a man who is not so nice, with nukes and missile capability. We have already conveyed our position to you, and that is we expect you to do something about it. But oh, never mind we can talk about that later.

    My dad was a great man, he taught me lots of things. One thing he taught me is if you do not do your job, somebody will come along and do your job for you, and you might not like the way it gets done.

    Enjoy your stay at the Mar-A-Lago.

    Liked by 3 people

  45. GREENMIRROR says:

    I will be watching the currency maninuplating, seeing as how the private company that has manipulated Uncle Sam is about to meet a gold backed renminbi. They successfully wacked Gaddafi… China and Russia are just too big for the FED/IMF to be told what to do, bummer USA has no gold to be a top player in this century.

    Like

  46. muffyroberts says:

    President XI should come back to Mar-a-Logo and take a few golf lessons. He would love it.

    Like

  47. ivehadit says:

    To paraphrase Reagan and mix metaphors…
    I didn’t leave corporate America. Corporate America left me. But they are back!

    It is, as many have said above, so nice to have these truly patriotic businessmen working for us as opposed to a Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft etc who couldn’t care less about America, imho. In fact, I see them as wanting America to be mundane, average and on par with all other nations. They have very little loyalty to the the country and its citizens “who made them”, imho.I hope (elite) corporate America is getting a wake up call by this administration: AMERICA FIRST.

    Like

  48. 22CatsInTN says:

    This is SOOOO refreshing. No doublespeak, confuse speak, windy, aimless, meandering verbosity or obfuscation. Just plain answers and firm noes. The adults are back in charge. I cannot tell you how just this simple fact is like new life igniting fresh hope. Thank you, thank you, President Trump, for hiring competent, intelligent and far sighted people with sound judgment. Whew!.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. SharkFL says:

    How do you say ‘Winning’ in chicom?

    Like

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