Lunch at the White House with Judd Deere and Hogan Gidley
White House press office, some Tuesday. Deputy press secretaries Hogan Gidley and Judd Deere chat while enjoying lunch at their desks.*
Judd: President Trump spoke to millions of Americans on television from the Lincoln Memorial, one of the most iconic and unifying symbols in the world, with a message of hope and optimism about the American dream.
Judd: Any suggestion that President Trump did not take the threat of COVID-19 seriously is false.
Hogan: This great country has been faced with an unprecedented crisis, and while the Democrats and the media shamelessly try and destroy this president with a coordinated, relentless, biased political assault, President Trump has risen to fight this crisis head-on by taking aggressive historic action to protect the health, wealth and well-being of the American people.
Judd: Whether it be providing food to children impacted by school closures, closing our border to certain countries and regions where the virus is spreading, or pausing all interest on student loans, this president wants us to put politics aside and come together.
Hogan: The governors praised President Trump’s leadership, assistance and quick action to address this national crisis, and the president told the governors he would make sure that whatever they may need, he would direct his team to provide.
Judd: President Trump’s prayers for comfort and strength are with all of those grieving the loss of a loved one or friend as a result of this unprecedented plague, and his message to this great nation remains one of resilience, hope and optimism.
Hogan: The president’s travel restrictions were bold decisive action which medical professionals say will prove to have saved countless lives.
Judd: While the media and Democrats refused to seriously acknowledge this virus in January and February, President Trump took bold action to protect Americans and unleash the full power of the federal government to curb the spread of the virus, expand testing capacities and expedite vaccine development even when we had no true idea the level of transmission or asymptomatic spread.
Judd: Despite Democrats and the media’s coordinated attempts to criticize this president for providing hope and optimism throughout this pandemic, President Trump has delivered a message of comfort, unity and strength while taking bold action.
Judd: Any suggestion that President Trump is struggling on tone or message is completely false.
Hogan: That’s right.
Judd: The media is still focused on outrageous claims of palace intrigue that are only meant to distract the American people from the Trump administration’s bold leadership in response to this pandemic.
Hogan: The president absolutely supports the vice president and thinks he’s doing an incredible job helping to carry out the mission and policies of this administration.
Judd: So true.
Hogan: The White House is fully focused on supporting the president’s mission of defeating the coronavirus, saving American lives, and getting the country back to work — and Mark Meadows has already proven to be a tremendous asset in that effort.
Hogan: The president has nothing but respect for A.G. Barr and greatly appreciates the work he’s done on behalf of the country, and no amount of shady sources with clear intent to divide, smear and slander will change that.
Hogan: The president finds it extremely inappropriate for somebody to go on television under the perception of legitimacy, integrity and level false and baseless claims against another person without any evidence whatsoever.
Judd: Along with record job growth, rising wages, fair and reciprocal trade deals, energy independence, lower prescription drug prices, criminal justice reform, securing our border and judicial appointments who uphold the Constitution, this president is helping America win again, but his work is far from over.
Hogan: Democrats have obstructed and delayed a record number of President Trump’s well-qualified nominees, so it shouldn’t be surprising to anyone that he regularly communicates with Majority Leader McConnell about how to increase confirmations in the face of Democrats’ ridiculous behavior.
Judd: President Trump has a vision of ensuring policies are in place that support a growing economy and the American worker, including our great manufacturers. The president has not only lowered taxes for hard-working families, his leadership and passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act along with deregulation has led to an unprecedented period of job and wage growth across the country, and Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are no exceptions.
Hogan: The president cares about the future of all American workers in the public and private sector that have been forgotten by phony politicians for decades, and he wants to ensure their safety and security, which is why he continues to fight for border security.
Hogan: President Trump is moving quicker than anyone in history to build the wall, secure the border, and enact the very immigration policies the American people voted for.
Hogan: The White House staff will never be lectured on truth-telling from the media that pushed a flat-out lie about Donald Trump.
Judd: [Mentions Ukraine]
Hogan: It was President Trump who decided to release the entire, unredacted phone call showing everyone he’s done nothing wrong.
Judd: [Mentions tax returns]
Hogan: As I understand it, the president is pretty clear, once he’s out of audit, he’ll think about doing it, but he is not inclined to do so at this time.
UPDATE 06-30-20: White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews stopped by as lunch was winding down and mentioned to her colleagues, “President Trump is a world class negotiator who has consistently furthered America’s interests on the world stage. From negotiating the phase one China deal and the USMCA to NATO allies contributing more and defeating ISIS, President Trump has shown his ability to advance America’s strategic interests.”
UPDATE 07-17-20: Matthews has joined the “any suggestion” team, suggesting her statements are ghost-written by Judd Deere or whoever has been writing Judd Deere’s statements: “Any suggestion that the President is not working around the clock to protect the health and safety of all Americans, lead the whole-of-government response to this pandemic, including expediting vaccine development and rebuilding our economy is utterly false.”
UPDATE 07-19-20: Hogan Gidley having moved over to the Trump presidential campaign, and Sarah Matthews having on Friday issued an “any suggestion” comment, Judd Deere reasserted his primacy in the White House “any suggestion” lane by issuing a statement remarkably similar (can you spot the differences?) to Matthews’: “Any suggestion that the president is not working around the clock to protect the health and safety of all Americans, lead the whole-of-government response to this pandemic, including expediting vaccine development, and rebuild our economy is utterly false.”
UPDATE 11-12-20: “Any suggestion that the President has given up on governing is false,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement.
*Quotes guaranteed verbatim.