In the Oval Office
Approximately two dozen faith-based leaders were invited to a Christmas lunch Monday in the Eisenhower Building, part of the White House complex. As I was driving to the lunch, I received a call telling me that we might be able to say “Hello” to President Trump in the Oval Office.
If that happened, I was asked to begin the conversation with the president in order to specifically thank him for his recognition of Jerusalem as the ancient and current capital of the Israeli people.
During our lunch in the historic Indian Treaty Room, I had a chance to speak with Ivanka Trump about her efforts to ensure that the tax cut bill will be more family friendly. She is a strong advocate for doubling the per-child tax credit.
Moments later, Vice President Mike Pence dropped by and discussed all the significant accomplishments that have happened in the past year on the values issues that pro-family, pro-life conservatives have been advocating for so long.
From great court appointments to the sanctity of life, progress is being made. In fact, a Huffington Post columnist recently whined:
“This is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to write and admit: Trump is winning… Trump busily continues to pack the federal judiciary with a parade of ultra-conservative, strict constructionist Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia clones.”
After lunch, just as I had been told, we were invited to meet the president. We left the Eisenhower Building, walked over to the West Wing of the White House and were ushered into the Oval Office. We were greeted by President Trump, who was relaxed, confident and genuinely interested to hear about the issues we were working on.
As requested, I started the conversation and thanked the president for his declaration on Jerusalem. I reminded the president that one year ago Barack Obama shamefully directed our UN ambassador to not veto a resolution that denied Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem. That unprecedented betrayal occurred right before Christmas Eve and the beginning of Chanukah last year.
I pointed out to the president the great irony that the countries voting in favor of that obscene resolution did not even exist when Jews were living in Jerusalem. And I praised him for his leadership because his recognition of Jerusalem largely made that UN vote irrelevant.
In our discussion that followed, other leaders, including my friends Dr. James Dobson and Ralph Reed, added their encouragement and congratulations to the president for his bold stands on a host of issues.
We were then asked if we wanted to talk to the ever-present press corps on the White House lawn about the issues we had discussed with the president. We immediately agreed to this request and also agreed that we would speak in the same order we spoke in the Oval Office.
So, I led the group out to a clearly hostile gaggle of reporters and proceeded to commend the president for his courage on Jerusalem. One so-called “journalist” yelled, “What about the Palestinians?” Another sarcastically asked, “Do you support the Jerusalem move because you think it will make the rapture happen sooner?”
Most Americans would have been disgusted by the condescension of these media mavens. But to the credit of my colleagues, we remained calm. I have seen no reports of our remarks, undoubtedly because there was no way for the media to spin them to the president’s detriment.
One final thought: As I drove home, I thanked God for the opportunities He continues to grant me to speak on behalf of our shared values here in the capital of the most powerful nation in the world.
And I thanked Him for all of you receiving this report. Year after year, you have generously supported me, our staff and the work we do here, none of which would be possible without you! I know there will be many more exciting days ahead.
We are learning more about Akayed Ullah, the wannabe jihadi who tried to bomb a Manhattan subway station Monday morning. According to the Department of Homeland Security, Ullah entered the country in 2011 thanks to “chain migration.”
In other words, he only got in because another family member — one of the 141,000 Bangladeshis admitted since 2005 — had already won the so-called “diversity visa lottery.”
Various media outlets are reporting that Ullah was inspired by ISIS and targeted the Port Authority station because he hated the Christmas decorations on display there. Moreover, his family members are now complaining about how the police interrogated them after the attempted suicide attack. CAIR has already issued a statement attacking the police.
Instead of complaining, it should be thanking the police for stopping him before he did any more damage.
We have now experienced a series of attacks in which parents and wives of jihadists never said a word to the authorities. Remember Noor Salman, wife of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooter? She is currently standing trial in Florida on charges of obstruction of justice and giving support to a terrorist organization.
How about Tashfeen Malik? She was the wife of Syed Farook and one of the San Bernardino jihadists. Their home was reportedly filled with bombs and bullets. Did no other family members notice?
When did we go from becoming a nation that welcomed people who loved us to a nation that imports people who hate us?
President Trump wants to end chain migration and return our immigration policy to a commonsense merit-based system. His immigration proposals would have prevented the last two terrorist attacks.
Here’s an idea: Perhaps we need a reverse chain migration system. If you bring in a relative who kills someone in the name of Allah, you get deported back to wherever you came from. Maybe then spouses, parents, aunts and uncles would start speaking up and reporting their radicalized family members.