WASHINGTON — Sean Spicer briefed reporters at the White House Wednesday. Here are the highlights from the press secretary’s comments on the proposed Republican health care bill, the construction of the border wall and the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the election.
On the revised health care bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act
Spicer said it is “literally impossible at this point” to determine the impact of the new bill on insurance premiums and coverage, but said preexisting conditions will be covered.
“The president has made it very clear on numerous occasions that everyone with a preexisting condition will be covered,” Spicer said.
On when the health care vote will happen, Spicer said “the sooner the better,” but said the president is “not trying to set a date.”
“Obviously that’s up to the speaker and house leadership, but the number of people supporting it continues to grow.”
On the president’s meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas
Spicer said the two leaders discussed advancing peace in the Israeli-Palestianin relationship, preventing incitement to violence, efforts to combat terrorism, empowering the Palestinian economy and emphasized the need to resolve the issue of payments to families of Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails
On the FBI director James Comey, whom Donald Trump said gave Hillary Clinton a free pass
“He has confidence in the director, but clearly his point was regarding the reason for the outcome of election. He wanted to make it clear exactly what happened.”
On the border wall
Spicer displayed photos of the current fencing — called levee walls and bollard walls — that is along the border and explained that money in the budget deal will go towards repairing it. The administration is referring to it as a “down payment” on the border wall.
“The president said he’s going to build a wall and he’s doing it.”
Spicer added that the spending bill is “a great deal for the president.”
On what Ivanka Trump’s role in the White House is
“I think Ivanka has built a very successful business. She can use her voice to help bring attention to issues.”
On if the administration agrees with the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the election
“I think that’s the view of the FBI. We rely on them to provide the president with updates on what they’re learning. It doesn’t go that way.”