VP Pool Report 4 — Acosta reaction
*From:* “Dawsey, Joshua”
*Date:* July 10, 2019 at 4:54:18 PM PDT
*Subject:* *[EXTERNAL] VP Pool Report 4 — Acosta reaction*
We are in the air to Vandenburg Air Force Base where Vice President Pence
will give remarks, meet troops and receive two briefings before heading to
San Diego for the evening.
The vice president answered questions in front of a large tractor for about
15 minutes outside his USMCA speech. (For those who care, the vice
president is in his third outfit of the day. It is 94 degrees.)
A few highlights — and I have the audio for those who want. Acosta answers
up high, immigration quotes below. He started the impromptu gaggle by
calling for Speaker Nancy Pelosi to pass the USMCA trade bill by the end of
2019 and said he was “encouraged” by discussions on Capitol Hill.
*Question: *Do you have concerns as a dad, as a father at how Alex Acosta
handled that case? Should be serving in this administration?
*Answer:* “There can be no tolerance of sexual abuse of children.”
“I was glad to see the Southern District of New York bringing prosecution
against Jeffrey Epstein. We believe he should be prosecuted to the fullest
extent of the law.”
“We welcome Secretary Acosta’s explanation to the country today about the
basis of the plea agreement eight years ago. A plea agreement that resulted
in a guilty plea, jail time and restitution. But we also agree strongly
with Secretary Acosta that the crimes Jeffrey Epstein admitted to were
horrific. That the crimes he has been alleged of now are horrific. And we
welcome the new prosecution.”
*Question: *Does he have the confidence of the administration?
*Answer:* “Every member of our Cabinet serves at the pleasure of the
president. We were pleased to see Secretary Acosta step forward and explain
the basis of the plea agreement in 2008.”
“We will continue to call on and support, in every appropriate way, the
full prosecution of this case against Jeffrey Epstein.”
*On immigration *
Pence was asked if the administration had done enough to help children, and
whether the administration had responded forcefully enough to the border.
Pence said he expected to see horrible conditions at the border when he
visits later this week and would bring cameras in with him.
“We’re going to lean into this crisis,” Pence said about the border.
“Our detention centers are overwhelmed.”
“Our system was simply never designed to deal with this.”
“These people coming north from central America are being enticed by human
traffickers who take American cash to bring them over the border and the
majority of cases, people are physically abused, women are sexually abused
on the journey north.”
“It is really contemptible that some in Congress have referred to U.S.
detention facilities as concentration camps. That’s an outrage. The Nazis
killed people. Our Customs and Border Protection personnel save lives every
“When we visit McAleenan, Texas this week, we’re not only going to bring
members of the Senate in, we’re going to bring cameras in. We’re going to
let people see the facility.”
Pence praised Mexico for doing more in helping limit crossings at the
border and praised Speaker Pelosi for the second time in his appearance.
“We are grateful for Speaker Pelosi and the leadership of both parties that
just approved $4.6 billion in humanitarian aid.”
When asked, Pence also disagreed with California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who
signed a law Wednesday that would give some undocumented immigrants access
to health care in California.
“Frankly, offering free health care as many Democrats have done. Offering
to make illegal immigration legal are policies that amount to open
borders… It’s the wrong policy.”
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