Trump honors oldest living Pear Harbor veteran, tackles Obamacare and meets with Ireland leader

The White House (White House photo)

President Donald Trump focused on several of his top priorities Friday including making health insurance more affordable and accessible, taking care of veterans, training America’s workforce for the manufacturing jobs of the future, and strengthening the United States’ relationship with Germany.

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One of his first acts was to wish Ray Chavez, the oldest living Pearl Harbor veteran, a happy 105th birthday. He signed a letter of congratulations to Chavez wishing him well and “also join your many admirers in thanking you for your service to the United States of America.”

“…I am 100 percent behind this.”  –President Donald J. Trump

The president met in a marathon session with members of the Republican study committee at the White House and endorsed the House effort to replace Obamacare.

“I want everyone to know, I’m 100 percent behind this,” Trump said after the meeting and mentioning the media. “They have not been giving it a fair press. The press is — as you know, in many cases, I call it the fake news. It’s fake news. This is gonna be great for people.”

Trump said that most of the members of the meeting were opposed to the bill, but that after the meeting they were ready to support the bill.

“These folks were noes — mostly noes yesterday, and now, every single one is yes,” he said. Trump indicated he would remain open to improvements as they move in transition stages to a good product.  “This is a great plan. This is going to be fantastic,” he said.

“…rebuild the U.S. Armed Forces and accelerate the campaign to defeat Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)..” –President Donald J. Trump

A letter from Trump to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan called for an additional $30 billion for Defense “to rebuild the U.S. Armed Forces and accelerate the campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and an additional $3 billion for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for urgent border protection activities…the request seeks to address critical budget shortfalls in personnel, training, maintenance, equipment, munitions, modernization, and infrastructure investment.  It represents a critical first step in investing in a larger, more ready, and more capable military force.”

His schedule also included a listening session on veterans’ affairs, met with the Chancellor of Germany, American and German business leaders and hosted a working luncheon with the Chancellor.

President Donald Trump introduces Enda Kenny, Taoiseach of Ireland, to Wilbur Ross, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, in the West Wing Lobby. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Trump also welcomed Taoiseach Enda Kenny of Ireland to discuss United States-Ireland economic and cultural ties as part of the White House St. Patrick’s Day celebration.  President Trump and the Taoiseach agreed on the importance of expanding the US-Ireland trade relationship and of identifying new opportunities to collaborate on global issues.  They also talked about the consequences facing, and the opportunities available to, Ireland in the wake of the United Kingdom’s decision to the leave the European Union.

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