Feb 20, 2020
Donald Trump Speech Transcript at the Hope for Prisoners Graduation Ceremony
Donald Trump spoke at the at the Hope for Prisoners Graduation Ceremony in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 20, 2020. Read the full transcript of the speech right here on Rev.com.
Thank you. Thank you so much.
Donald Trump: (00:02)
Thank you. Great gentleman. That’s first thing they said to me when I walked in, “But everybody knows who you are.” I know who you are. 11 years of this. That’s fantastic. What a tremendous story. Thank you very much. Congratulations because I’m going to give him an early congratulations, all right? That’s big stuff. That’s big stuff. So, thank you very much, Jon.
Donald Trump: (00:31)
Two years I was honored to celebrate your story of faith and transformation as you stood with me in the Rose Garden of the White House. It was a great day, a beautiful day. Now, I’m thrilled to come to Las Vegas Police Department. Thank you very much for being what a group that is. That’s some job you guys do. Some job you do. Lot of friends, too, lot of friends, to take part in your organization’s HOPE for Prisoners graduation ceremony.
Donald Trump: (01:04)
We are here to reaffirm that America is a nation that believes in redemption. That’s what it’s about, redemption. We believe in second chances and we want to bring returning citizens, great people, great people. In many cases, great people. And not in all cases. I’m not going to be too politically correct, fellows, right? Not in all cases. But in many cases, we want to rebuild their lives, they want to rebuild their lives. They want to help us and rebuild our country. And please, everybody, please sit down. It was a little bit late with that one, wasn’t it? Thank you. That feels better, doesn’t it, huh?
Donald Trump: (01:52)
But to the 29 graduates who returning to your families, you have paid your debt to society and shown a commitment to change. You’ve overcome many challenges, broken free of addiction, learned new skills and replaced old habits with fresh resolve. And Jon told us just outside little while ago that it’s an incredible class. Incredible class of talent. That word talent is very important. And now you have a chance to begin a new chapter that you are proud to call your own. And I have little doubt you’re going to be very, very successful. Your future does not have to be defined by the mistakes of the past. Today, we declare that you are made by God for a great and noble purpose and you understand that. I mean, it’s a great and noble purpose on your valued members of our American family. And we are determined to help you succeed and we’re going to work with you and you’re going to work with Jon and everybody else in this really incredible place that you’ve all put together, Jon. And you’re going to be so successful. You’re going to say, “I’m going to be more successful than Trump.” I’m going to be more … and I’ll be happy if you do it. I’ll tell you what. I’ll be very happy about it. But as long as you work hard and follow the law and do your part, you contribute to your communities, your best days are just beginning. Best part of your life is beginning. I really believe that. And your greatest years are just ahead. And to all of the family members and loved ones who have been through so much of the graduates’ who joined us today, we know your journey has not been an easy one but your love and support make all of the difference. And we are tremendously grateful for the families, the loved ones. And I know they’re even more grateful because without them, you wouldn’t be here. You wouldn’t be here. So, I want to thank you.
Donald Trump: (03:58)
And joining us for this ceremony are two leaders who have devoted so much to advancing medical cures to help people overcome the stranglehold of addiction. Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, and they’ve been great friends of mine for a long time. Stand up, Sheldon. What a family. What a family. And Miriam is a doctor. A great doctor. She doesn’t have to be a doctor. You can trust me. Her husband doesn’t need the money. But she devotes her life, it’s the most important thing to her, to addiction. And every time she learns something new, and there’s still plenty to learn, but she’ll call me and tell me what they’re learning about addiction and the job you do, Miriam, what you’ve done, Sheldon, just overall is incredible. Really good. Two great people. Just great people.
Donald Trump: (05:08)
And they like a place called Israel very much. Would you say that’s correct?
Speaker 1: (05:14)
Donald Trump: (05:15)
Maybe I have to use the word love a place called Israel, right? Your case.
Donald Trump: (05:20)
Thank you as well to Las Vegas mayor, Carolyn Goodman, for being here. Carolyn, thank you very much. Great, great job. And also the tireless advocate because Carolyn has been very much involved with criminal justice reform along with Jared Kushner, who’s been very, very much involved. I don’t know. I think … I think, Jared, I’m starting … Where’s Jared? Thank you, Jared. Never wants any credit. He does a lot. He works hard. But that’s working out very well, isn’t it, Carolyn? And it’s working out well for everybody and tremendous support. And we had liberal support, we had conservative support and they came to me and they needed some help, and we got help from some very unexpected places. Votes, we needed votes. And we got some great people.
Donald Trump: (06:13)
Republicans, in all cases in this case, but we got some great people to vote for criminal justice reform. So, in fact, very conservative republicans, so that was a good sign. Very bipartisan and it was a terrific thing, and we really, we did something that they been trying to do for a long time, and we got it done. We get a lot of things done. Get a lot of things done.
Donald Trump: (06:40)
Now you see a lot of press back there, so before we go any further, I want to address today’s sentencing of a man, Roger Stone. Roger Stone, he’s become big part of the news over the last little while. And I’m following this very closely, and I want to see it play out to its fullest because Roger has a very good chance of exoneration in my opinion. I’ve known, and you people understand it probably better than anybody in the room, I’ve known Roger Stone and his wife, who’s really a terrific woman, for a long time. And Roger’s definitely a character. Everybody sort of knows Roger. Everybody knows him. And most people like him. Some people probably don’t. But I do, and I always have. He’s a smart guy. He’s a little different. But those are sometimes the most interesting. But he’s a good person. His family is fantastic. He’s got a fantastic family. And there’s always a reason for that, isn’t there?
Donald Trump: (07:48)
Roger was never involved in the Trump campaign for president. He wasn’t involved. I think early on, long before I announced, he may have done a little consulting work or something, but he was not involved when I ran for president. And he’s a person who, again, he knows a lot of people having to do with politics. His whole life is politics. That’s what he is. And it’s my strong opinion that the forewoman of the jury, the woman who was in charge of the jury is totally tainted. When you take a look, how can you have a person like this? She was a anti-Trump activist. Can you imagine this? Now you wouldn’t know about a bad jury. Anybody here know about a bad … No?
Donald Trump: (08:37)
These people know more about bad juries than everybody here including the sheriff and the mayor and everybody. They know about bad juries. We’re not going to say it too much, though. Let’s not say it in front of more cameras than this. But you’re my experts, okay? No, but this is a woman who was an anti-Trump person, totally. Now, I don’t know if this is a fact, but she had a horrible social media account. The things she said on the account were unbelievable. She didn’t reveal that when she was chosen. And she’s, I guess from what I hear, a very strong woman, a very dominant person, so she can get people to do whatever she wants. And she got on, then she became the foreperson, forewoman, on the jury.
Donald Trump: (09:26)
And I assumed they asked her a question. ” Do you have any bias? Do you have any …” She didn’t say that. So, is that a defrauding of the court? You tell me. But does this undermine our fair system of justice? How can you have a person like this? Did she delete her social account? And when Roger was determined by this same jury to be guilty before the judge issued a sentence, and he was determined to be guilty, and she started going a little wild. She’s very happy. And she started saying things and people said, “That’s strange. That’s strange.” And then they started looking in … How can you have a jury pool tainted so badly? It’s not fair. It’s not fair.
Donald Trump: (10:21)
And you know, it’s not happening to a lot of other people because you can look, I won’t name names, but everybody knows who I’m talking about. What’s happening over there? Nobody. Nobody. There are people that are, even in Roger Stone’s basic business of politics, that were going to be in big trouble, well-known people, the biggest people, big trouble. They were forced to leave their firm. One man was forced to leave his firm and he was going to … Bad things were going to happen to him the following day. Nothing happened. Nothing happened. He was the biggest. Nothing happened. But it happened to Roger Stone, and it happened to General Flynn, and it happened to … I won’t name names. It happened to a lot of people. And destroyed a lot of people’s lives. And I’m here to make a fair system.
Donald Trump: (11:17)
Again, Roger is not somebody who worked on my campaign. I know Roger but a lot of people know Roger. Everybody sort of knows Roger. And what happened to him is unbelievable. They say he lied. But other people lie too. Just to mention, Comey lied. McCabe lied. Lisa Page lied. Her lover, Strzok, Peter Strzok, lied. You don’t know who these people are? Just trust me. They all lied. You had people that forged documents. You had people that wrote fake dossiers and brought them to the FBI and used people in the Justice Department to get them to the FBI. And these people know in the front row, you know better than anybody in this room what the hell I’m talking about probably. So, I’m only responding to you. I’m not even talking to the folks over here. But they get it better than anybody, too. Lot of bad things are happening. We’re cleaning it out. We’re cleaning the swamp. We’re draining the swamp. I just never knew how deep the swamp was. So, if this woman was tainted, I hope the judge will find that she was tainted. And if she isn’t tainted, that will be fine too. But I’m not going to do anything in terms of the great powers bestowed upon a president of the United States. I want the process to play out. I think that’s the best thing to do because I’d love to see Roger exonerated, and I’d love to see it happen because I personally think he was treated very unfairly. They talk about witness tampering. But the man that he was tampering didn’t seem to have much of a problem with it. In fact, they know each other for years.
Donald Trump: (13:24)
And, it’s not like the tampering that I see on television when you watch a movie. That’s called tampering, with guns to people’s heads and lots of other things. So, we’re going to see what it is. Maybe there was tampering and maybe there wasn’t. But, I can tell you that it was tremendous lying, really lying and leaking classified documents, that you don’t know about. But they leaked classified documents. You know, there was a young sailor who took pictures of their old submarine and sent them to his mother and a friend and it destroyed his life. I let him out. They were considered classified. Now Russia and China, I guarantee you, have the pictures of the submarine for long time. The submarine was like 30 years old. They had them in the first year. They didn’t have to wait for the 30th year.
Donald Trump: (14:25)
But this is a famous story. And they had these pictures, and they put him in jail. He sent them to his mother and to his friend. His friend was not interested in what you’re thinking, and there are many other cases where documents were leaked, even accidentally. It’s so … Classified documents are so important that even if they are leaked accidentally … Hell, Hillary Clinton leaked more classified documents than any human being, I believe, in the history of the United States of America, right? And she deleted 33,000 emails. And she said, “Oh …” And by the way, if you did it? Five years, maybe more, okay? But you’d never have access to classified. Very few people have access.
Donald Trump: (15:23)
She deleted 33,000 emails. I kept waiting because you know, they can talk Benghazi, they can talk 100 different things. What people understand is when you get rid of this kind of evidence so the United States Congress said, they subpoenaed her. They wanted to see her emails. After getting the subpoena, she deleted 33,000 emails. And they said, “You remember this?” Yes, the emails were about her yoga classes, her exercising and her daughter’s wedding. 33,000 about her daughter’s wedding? That must have been the greatest wedding of all time. And nothing happened to her and yet they’ll put a young sailor in an old submarine with a picture, couple of pictures, they’ll put him into jail. And I pardoned him because it was unfair that she was able to do it at the highest level and his level wasn’t … what he did, it was confidential. Confidential’s a much lower class than classified.
Donald Trump: (16:40)
So, I tell you this because it’s interesting. This is part of our nation. This is what’s going on now. So, I’m going to let this process play out. And, we want to have a great and fair court system and I hope you had a fair and wonderful court system, but perhaps you didn’t. Perhaps you didn’t. And if you didn’t, we want to straighten it out but we have to straighten it out also at the top level. So, we had a lot of dirty cops, FBI is phenomenal. I love the people in the FBI. But the people at the top were dirty cops. And if you would have read the report written about Comey, 78 pages of kill, with a reference of, “Go get him.” They really said it. “Go get him.” And then you read about McCabe, and you see what they said. So bad. And we’re just waiting. I’m not doing anything. I’m just sitting here, standing here, talking to you. We’re waiting.
Donald Trump: (17:43)
So, I just want to let the fake news media know that … I just want to let them know, because there’s few people more dishonest than these people, I will tell you that. And you have some very good ones. Hell of a lot more dishonest than most of you in the audience were.
Donald Trump: (18:02)
Hell of a lot more dishonest than most of you in the audience were. But I’m going to let the media know that I’m going to watch the process. I’m going to watch it very closely. And at some point I’ll make a determination. But Roger Stone and everybody has to be treated fairly. And this has not been a fair process. Okay? Thank you.
Donald Trump: (18:26)
So when I ran for president, I pledged to fight for those who have been forgotten, neglected, overlooked, and ignored by politicians in our nation’s capitol, and you understand that very well. For decades, no one was more forgotten than citizens coming out of prison who were ready to go into a brand new, beautiful start, but couldn’t find a job. They couldn’t find people who believed in them.
Donald Trump: (18:53)
And one of the great things that happened is I and my administration and a lot of very talented people that work with me, we created the strongest economy in the history of our country. We have the best unemployment numbers. We have the best unemployment numbers for African American, best in history. Asian American, best in history. Hispanic American, best in history. Our country is booming. We’d never done better. It’s the best economy we’ve ever had.
Donald Trump: (19:22)
So when people come out, as an example yourselves, you’re going to get great jobs. I’ll tell you the end result, and we do studies on this. People with businesses are going to hire you. They want you more than you want them. This is the first time this has happened. Okay? This is the first time. They want you to do it and they wouldn’t have given you that second chance. We call it second chance, but they wouldn’t have given you that second, some cases a third chance. That’s okay. But they wouldn’t have given you that second chance. Now they’re doing it because they need people, because the economy is so good.
Donald Trump: (19:58)
And I’ll tell you the end result. Employers are calling the numbers that we’re getting, the respect that you’re getting from people that are doing the hiring, they can’t even believe it. I had one gentleman, I talked to him, he had seven people came out of prison. He’s got seven people working for him. He said, “They’re among my best.” He said, “They are among my best people.” He said, “I cannot believe it.” And you know what? Some businesses don’t always work out. I’m not going to say everybody is perfect, because it’s not. Nobody’s… you take a group, there’s always going to be somebody who doesn’t work out. But he said, “I can’t believe it. They are…” he’s got seven now. They’ve been with him for quite a while. He said “They’re are among the best people I’ve ever employed.” He is so happy. It’s going to happen with you. It’s going to happen with them. What do you think? I think it’s going to happen with this group.
Donald Trump: (20:52)
So once I came into office, leaders from all different backgrounds asked me to make changes to our criminal justice and the more I learned about the issue, big issue, the more I knew that criminal justice reform was really not about politics, because you have people that are for and against it on all different levels. Republican, Democrat, conservative, independent, liberal. Some love it, some don’t love it, but they’re starting to love it. We’re having tremendous success with it.
Donald Trump: (21:22)
And it’s about doing the right thing, because Alice Johnson and I’ve really gotten to know her well and she’s an incredible person. And because of Alice, we’re taking in… we’ve just let out three other people that she knew. And I say to people, and you may have references and recommendations when you were wherever you may have been. Frankly, you know some people that were really good people who… Alice was in for 22 years. She had another 18 years to serve and for a crime, but not that kind of a crime. And I learned about Alice Johnson and when I learned it really is really something special. She’s an incredible woman. She came out of prison.
Donald Trump: (22:09)
You’ve seen the whole thing. We actually did a commercial on it. I did the commercial for people to see what this is all about. She came out… you couldn’t hire an actor in Hollywood to have the emotion and the love and the tears and everything. She came out and she saw her family who had totally grown up without her, and some big strong young men, some wonderful women, just all family. And she was grabbing them and they were all hugging and kissing outside of this massive prison wall. And they were just screaming with joy. It was an incredible thing to see. You couldn’t do it. It had to be natural. It had to come from the heart. It had to come from the heart. So it was nice. And I said to Alice and I said to other people, and I’ll say to you, and I’ll say to you, you’re going to have some recommendations. You think I’m making a mistake with him? What do you think?
Speaker 2: (23:05)
Donald Trump: (23:05)
Okay. You’re going to have some recommendations. I want your recommendations, because you have… we have thousands of people in prison that have stories like Alice Johnson, thousands and thousands of people. And I love doing it. I love doing it. And you can be poor, you can be middle-income, you can be rich. It’s injustice is injustice, but you have thousands of people that shouldn’t be there. And I love finding those people. As you find them as you really think… but you can’t let me down. They got to be right, because there are some people you don’t want to do this with. You do know that.
Donald Trump: (23:43)
I said to Alice, “So Alice, let me ask you, you have a lot of people like yourself, right?” Yes. But you have bad people too, don’t you? Yes, we do. Some very bad people. I said, “Good, because I wouldn’t want somebody to say no, everybody’s good, because that’s not the case.” But she’s given us great recommendations and she’s a great woman.
Donald Trump: (24:02)
To redress unfairness in the justice system, just over one year ago, I led the effort to pass the criminal justice reform, and others had tried and failed. They didn’t try too hard because they know it couldn’t be done. But we got it done. This law rolls back provisions of the really terrible 1994 Criminal Clinton Crime Law that disproportionately impacted the African American community. I mean they like Clinton, but they passed a law that was a disaster. You know that. But we did something about it. They were unable to do it all the way back. We did something about it.
Donald Trump: (24:51)
And my recent budget provides over $400 million to expand vocational training, drug treatment, and critical reentry programs just like this one. Okay. You know that. He knows it. By enacting criminal justice reform, we’re sending a powerful message to prisoners who have reformed their lives. When you return to society, we are not going to leave you behind. We’re not leaving you behind. But now we don’t have the excuse of a bad economy. They used to have the excuse, well, we can’t do it, the economy’s no good. The unemployment rates were very high. We’re down to 3.5%. We’re probably going lower and wages are going up, first time in 21 years. They’re really going up and going up. It’s a beautiful thing. If you’re in my world, it’s a beautiful thing to watch. It’s like a picture. Everyone in this room is here to make sure that you have the support that you need to succeed, thrive, and to never ever look back. You’re not going to look back. We’re not going to look back.
Donald Trump: (25:58)
And we’re joined today by many great pastors and faith leaders, some of whom I know pretty well, who trust the power of prayer and the mercy of God to transform their lives. And I want to thank you all for being here. Thank you. Great, great faith leaders. Thank you. Please stand up. Please stand up. Great. Thank you. Thank you, father. Great job. Actually been to a couple of their churches. Thank you very much.
Donald Trump: (26:29)
Also with us or our employers of many different industries who are here to recruit you. Don’t ask for too much. Just take it nice and easy. Don’t forget they want to make a good deal, but you do too. But they want to recruit you for great jobs and they’re here. Who are the people that are looking? Who are the people, the employers please? Yeah, stand up please. That’s great. That’s good. That’s great. Great. You’re going to be happy. You’re going to be very happy.
Donald Trump: (27:03)
Including the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, who really has done a fantastic job over the years. I’ve known how hard they work and what a great job they do. Station’s Casinos, Martin and Harris Construction, civil work, general contractor, Silver State Transportation, Keolis Transit and Workforce Connections. And I want to thank you all and we have a lot of others outside that are coming in too, and you’re going to have a lot of… you’re going to have a lot of fun. It’s nice to be loved, right? It’s nice to be wanted. You’re wanted. You’re wanted. Finally… you are. You’re wanted. Right John?
Donald Trump: (27:48)
Finally, we’re proudly, really proud to be joined by more than 80 men and women, these people are so incredible, of law enforcement. The job they do. Sheriff, the job… please stand up. You don’t know how much people respect you. You don’t hear it. You don’t hear it. People respect you like you wouldn’t believe. So we just want to thank you all. The job you do is incredible, law enforcement. We honor your selfless service and bravery.
Donald Trump: (28:34)
By the way, fire department also. I just left an area of the country where two firemen were just killed and a terrible. Up in certain portion of beautiful place in California where a building collapsed. Two people killed, two firemen killed, and we honor them. This took place yesterday, but they’re fantastic. But I want to thank law enforcement, because the job you do is incredible and the respect that people have for you, you’ll never know how strong it is. It’s strong and I think it’s stronger now than ever before. And now you have an administration that loves you, backs you. We give you the equipment that you need. We gave billions of dollars of equipment. We had surplus equipment, military equipment, incredible stuff sitting in hundreds of warehouses all over the United States. And for some reason other people didn’t want to give it out. But I gave it out and I assume you got some of it right? You got some of it. I know the man, he probably got most of it. Right? That’s good. It keeps you safe.
Donald Trump: (29:41)
As you know, Hope for Prisoners has pioneered a mentorship program with law enforcement, which has given strength and support to former inmates like Lois Hockersmith and she joins us today. Lois. Where’s Lois? For many years, Lois struggled with addiction. In May of 2012, she found herself pregnant and in jail. After she served her time, Lois participated in Hope for Prisoners program. She graduated in 2013 and since then Lois has stayed totally sober. She’s earned back custody of her precious, beautiful son and she is one of the best case managers here at Hope for Prisoners. Is that right? That’s good, that’s great. Thank you. Wow. Come on up here, Lois. Come on up here. Through it all, Lois has been encouraged by her mentor who is the same officer who arrested her nearly eight years ago. Lieutenant Steve Riback, who also joins us today. Hey Steve, come on up. Is Steve here? Steve is here. Steve, come up.
Donald Trump: (31:12)
Lois Hockersmith: (31:12)
Pleasure to meet you sir.
Donald Trump: (31:12)
Hey, whoa, he’s good looking, huh? Come here. Thank you. Thank you. Well, we’re with you 100%. It’s good. Please. You like to say something?
Lois Hockersmith: (31:17)
Yes. So first of all, I want to thank this officer. He saved our lives that night that he arrested me and my son. He arrested me. I was pregnant with him and I gave birth to him that night. And not all our heroes wear capes. Some wear badges. Had he not been doing his job that night, I wouldn’t be here. John Ponder, listen, we’ve been through a lot of things together. 2012, that’s when I went through the program and my life changed that day. I am standing in front of the president. A little bit nervous. I just want you to know that I’m standing amongst heroes, but you guys, if it wasn’t for you guys to come back in and for me able to pour back into you, this is how I keep it, by giving it back to you guys.
Speaker 2: (32:08)
Lois Hockersmith: (32:08)
Thank you. And thank you Mr. President.
Donald Trump: (32:12)
[inaudible 00:32:12] Thank you. Take care of mom, right? He’s so beautiful. Would you like to say something? Please. He feels very comfortable.
Lt. Steve Riback: (32:27)
I had a well prepared speech for this. The credit 100% goes to Lois and not to be completely candid, I was doing nothing, no different than I had done for years and years that night. I definitely believe it was divine that we came across each other, but the credit goes to her. The credit goes to John. The credit goes to you guys as hopefuls and I just wish you a tremendous amount of success in the rest of your life. It’s only forward at this point and you have an incredible team, an incredible community, and I’m so honored to be a part of it. But again, the credit goes to these people right here. Thank you.
Donald Trump: (33:01)
You did a good job. That was a good job. Wow. He did okay fellows, right? He did. He did a great job. Thank you both. Lois and Steve, you remind us really that, all of us, that anything’s possible, and Lois is among the roughly 100 Hope for Prisoners alumni here today, all of whom are doing incredibly well. Please stand. Please stand, all of the alumni. Wow, that’s great. That’s great. That’s great. Great. Congratulations. Thank you very much.
Donald Trump: (33:54)
But they’re really a testament to the bright future that awaits you all. It’s a great time in our country in so many ways. Our military is strong. Our country is just strong. We’re stronger in, I would say, just about every way than we ever have been before. Militarily. You take a look at what we’re doing with the stock market. We’ve had 144 out of three years. I’ve been here just a little more than three years and in a little more than three years, John, we’ve had 144 stock market records. Now that’s good for everybody. It’s good for your 401ks and it’s good for jobs and it’s good for… those are the ones that I think about first, jobs, 401ks, that and people are making a lot of money and people are getting tremendous… you’ll be investing some of your money in this now. You’d be doing fantastically well and you’re going to have 401ks or something, the equivalent and you’re going to do fantastically well.
Donald Trump: (34:51)
And as I say, sometimes in speeches, the best is yet to come. We have tremendous potential. We have done… we’ve just made some incredible trade deals that will soon start kicking in. It’s going to make it a different country economically, as good as it does, it’s going to be much better. We had horrible, horrible deals, or no deals at all, and now we have phenomenal deals. We made a massive deal with China than we did the USMCA, that’s Mexico, Canada. We did a $40 billion a year deal with Japan and we did a deal with South Korea, and we have other deals too, and I’m going to India next week and we’re talking about… they have 1.5 billion people and Prime Minister Modi is number two on Facebook. Number two, think of that. You know who number one is? Trump. Can you believe that? Number one, I just found out. The head of Facebook, Mr. Zuckerberg came in three weeks ago. He said, “Congratulations.” I said, “On what?” He said, “You’re number one on Facebook.” I said, “That’s cool.” Number one on Twitter too. But that’s because… true.
Donald Trump: (36:01)
But that’s because… And if I wasn’t, I could never say it because it would be breaking news that Trump told the fib. Now number one and I congratulated a Prime Minister Modi. I said, “But you know, you have 1.5 billion people. I have 350 million. You have an advantage.” But we’re going to India and we may make a tremendous deal there. Maybe we’ll slow it down, we’ll do it after the election. I think that could happen too. So we’ll see what happens but we’re only making deals if they’re good deals because we’re putting America first, whether people like it or not. We’re putting America first.
Donald Trump: (36:43)
So to help you find housing, jobs and support, I established, as you know very well, the Council on Crime Prevention and Re-entry. They’ve done a fantastic job and here with us today, our new executive director, Tony Lowden.
Donald Trump: (36:58)
Tony, would you just come up and say a few words please? Tony Lowden. Thank you, Tony.
Donald Trump: (37:10)
He looks good.
Tony Lowden: (37:16)
To God be the glory. Listen, is what re-entry looks like when our law enforcement, our returning citizens, our faith community, business and our community along with their children, can come together in a holistic approach and bring us together under this president has showed America what re-entry looks like.
Tony Lowden: (37:45)
They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but I want to tell you that today the entire world have been put on notice that here, John, under this president and our administration, this will no longer be a secret. This will be the norm for America. God bless you.
Donald Trump: (38:09)
Thank you, Tony. Wow. Thank you Tony. Wow, that’s great. Respected guy.
Donald Trump: (38:25)
For too long, citizens with a record were not even considered for jobs. You know that even if they were qualified, rehabilitated, totally and ready to go to work, they wanted to go to work but all of that is changing and we began a nationwide campaign to encourage businesses to expand Second Chance Hiring; call it Second Chance Hiring. When we say hire American, we mean all Americans, all Americans.
Donald Trump: (38:52)
And our entire nation wins when citizens with a record have a chance to succeed, such a tremendous, it’s what’s happened over the last three years is incredible. People came out, they didn’t have a chance and now they’re not only having a chance, you’re going to see in a little while when these guys try and make a deal. I want a little bit more. Give me a little bit more.
Donald Trump: (39:18)
Together, we’re rebuilding the most prosperous economy and the most inclusive society, John, ever to exist. We are becoming a very inclusive society, much more so than in the past and a lot of people haven’t figured that out yet but I think they will. I think people are going to figure it out pretty soon. We want every citizen to join America’s unparalleled success in every community to take part in America’s extraordinary rise.
Donald Trump: (39:47)
Since my election, we have created 7 million new jobs. The unemployment rate has reached the lowest rate in over 51 years. Think of that, 51 years; half a century. And by the way, the 7 million jobs, they thought it might be 2 million if we’re lucky. You go back three years, they were saying 2 million. We did 7 million and it’s pretty amazing.
Donald Trump: (40:19)
African-American poverty has declined to the lowest rate ever recorded but I think one of the things we’re most proud of in this incredible economy, we’ll call it Trump Economy, call it, we’ll call it the ponder economy, we’ll call it something, but whatever we call it, this economy has been great and the thing that might be the best of all is what we’ve done with criminal justice reform. I really think so.
Donald Trump: (40:53)
Our jobs market is so strong that businesses are recruiting the former prisoners off the sidelines in, by the way, record numbers. Record numbers, never happened anywhere, even close to these numbers. We know that having a job gives you the best chance to work hard to earn the paycheck, care for your families, chase your dreams and succeed, through our pledge to America’s workers, spearheaded by a very famous young woman. Did you ever hear of Ivanka?
Donald Trump: (41:28)
She said, “Daddy, I want to help with jobs.” I said, “Well, I’ll put you here, there.” “No, no. I want to help with jobs. I want to get people jobs. They have to be trained. They have to be…’ So she had a goal of 500,000 jobs. That’s a lot; half a million jobs. She just broke Jared. I guess, is Jared around? She just broke… She just broke Jared Kushner. She just broke the father of criminal justice reform. He really is. I mean, he works so hard and Ivanka just broke 15 million jobs. Mayor, that’s good, right? And this is where they train the people in the companies. The government can’t do this. Walmart took a million people. Think of it. These big companies take and they train them. It’s very complicated stuff with computerization and all the things you have to learn. That’s not for government.
Donald Trump: (42:19)
15 million people taken by many of the biggest companies, but also midsize companies, even some smaller, but she broke 15 million people about two weeks ago and her goal was 500,000 people over a fairly long period of time; 15 million. But if you know Ivanka, you’re not at all surprised. Believe me, I wasn’t surprised. I was sort of saying, “So what else is new.”
Donald Trump: (42:42)
To everyone returning citizen here today, I know that there are some in our society who want to tell you what you can’t do. They’re going to tell you what you can’t do. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to be here. I wanted to say what I had to say to John too, because I sort of had that in my mind for a long time. Actually, the first time I met him but they want to tell you what you can’t do. They want to tell you why you can’t succeed. No way you can succeed.
Donald Trump: (43:08)
You don’t want to listen to them because you’re proving different. They want to say why you can’t make it in this country. Why you can’t make it in any country. They think you’re not going to make it period, but do not believe those voices for one second because I’m here today because I believe in what you can do.
Donald Trump: (43:29)
You’re going to be incredible. You’re going to be incredible. You’re going to see it and it’s going to go quickly. Each of you is a citizen of the greatest country on earth. There is more opportunity, more equality and more potential in America today than in any society in the history of the world. It’s true.
Donald Trump: (43:48)
This is the country where anyone can make a comeback. We made a comeback with our country. We call it the Great American Comeback. This is the Great American Comeback and you’re doing the same thing. This is a nation where anyone can rise and this is the time when anyone can reach for the American dream, that beautiful American dream. That’s what you’re doing and whenever you have any doubt, whenever the road gets tough and it will, you’ll have those days. I’ve had those days. I mean, I didn’t do anything wrong and they impeached to me a few weeks ago, right? They impeached. I said, “What happened? What did I do?” [Aye Yai Yai 00:08:36] You think that was fun? Mary, you think that’s great to be impeached? The good news, my numbers went through the roof. I mean, you explain this to me. Explain this to me.
Donald Trump: (44:48)
But you’ll have those days, right? You’re going to have those days but you’re Americans and you’re great Americans and Americans meet challenges. You defy expectations. You never give up. You never lose faith in the redeeming power of Almighty God and from this day forward, I’m here. I’m the president. I don’t have to do this. I could be someplace else but I want it to be here and I had plenty of choices.
Donald Trump: (45:15)
One thing, as president, the American tells you, we have plenty of choices, right? We are a lot of choices. I wanted to be here but I ask each of you to seize your unlimited future. If you do, you will make the most of your incredible new found freedom. You’re pioneers in a way because you’re at a point in the country when it’s just all come together. You will unlock your unique talents and skill and aspirations. You’ll join a great project of national renewal and together we will make our country stronger than ever before.
Donald Trump: (45:52)
Thank you very much for being here. God bless you and God bless America.
Donald Trump: (45:55)
Thank you. Thank you.
Speaker 3: (45:56)
I’m going to ask the graduates to line up as we issue the certificates.
Speaker 3: (47:47)
Gary White, [Maceo Bells 00:47:41], Demarcus Webb, Richard [Fella 00:11: 57], Amanda [Stankowitz 00:48:06], [Gerard 00:48:15] Robinson, Nathan Rab, Troy Price, Frank Provato, Kira Pozzo, Robert Petrosino, Herman [Pacheco 00:13:07], [Sidney 00:49:14] Morris, Casey Mix, Heath McCurdy, [Payhon Macask 00:49:39], [Keandre 00:50:07] Houston, [Delirious 00:50:13] Hernandez, [Lay 00:50:20] Harris, Michael Hargraves, Aaron Harriston, [Osi 00:50:47] Gwen, Saul Guevara, Jared Gibson, Glenn Fennel, Sarah Campbell, Willie [Bro 00:00:51:31], Rory Allen.
Speaker 3: (52:26)
Ladies and gentlemen, as I present to you the February special graduating Class of 2020 and Mr. President, we just want to thank you several so very, very much. It is an honor for us to have you in this building. Thank you so very much.