Senators unclear on Trump's comment about opioid crisis

As lawmakers gathered in the Oval Office Wednesday night for a bipartisan bill signing to combat opioids, President D...

Posted: Jan 12, 2018 10:09 AM
Updated: Jan 12, 2018 10:09 AM

As lawmakers gathered in the Oval Office Wednesday night for a bipartisan bill signing to combat opioids, President Donald Trump made one comment that left some wondering what he meant.

The new law gives US Customs and Border Protection more screening devices to detect fentanyl and other opioids that are being imported to the country. Trump said it feels like a "very giant step" in the opioid crisis but argued "it's not going to be a giant step, because no matter what you do, this is something that keeps pouring" into the country."

President Donald Trump said this week he had the answer to the opioid problem

Senators who were at the bill signing were puzzled by the comments

The President said he had the answer to the problem.

"There is an answer. I think I actually know the answer, but I'm not sure the country is ready for it yet," he said, before looking around at some of the lawmakers. "Does anybody know what I mean? I think so."

Some senators -- who attended the bill signing and are well versed on the opioid issue -- were puzzled by the comment when asked about them Thursday.

"I had no idea what answer that is," said Sen. Ron Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican. "I was intrigued, too, I'd like to know."

"Yeah, I wondered about that," said West Virginia Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito. "I didn't follow up and ask."

The West Virginia Republican continued: "When he said that, I thought, 'Uh, good for you if that's actually what he thinks?' But it's more complicated than one silver bullet."

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman said, "I remember something like that," before later adding: "I think the answer is, unfortunately, a lot of different things."

"I don't have any idea what the President was talking about," said Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat. "I don't know if he even knew what he was talking about."

Asked if she had an idea as to what he was referring to, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire, said, "Not at all."

The White House has not responded to a request to explain Trump's comment.

Given that the bill involved Customs and Border Protection, Capito said Trump was maybe talking about some sort of border security measure.

Brown didn't speculate on what the President meant, but he does hope part of Trump's solution involves more funding for treatment centers to help those with addiction.

Portman said he thought perhaps the President was talking about prevention measures. "I think it may have been the prevention side because that's ultimately the answer here to how you keep people from falling into this."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 34830

Reported Deaths: 2143
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9900581
Lake3639190
Allen166269
Cass15877
Elkhart132228
St. Joseph128634
Hendricks117171
Hamilton116293
Johnson1115109
Madison59359
Porter54328
Bartholomew51535
Clark50541
LaPorte43824
Howard41528
Tippecanoe4143
Jackson3921
Delaware38539
Shelby37322
Hancock34027
Floyd31839
Boone31535
Vanderburgh2822
Morgan28024
Montgomery24517
Noble23721
White2378
Clinton2331
Decatur22431
Grant21323
Dubois1993
Harrison19422
Henry18411
Greene16925
Vigo1698
Dearborn16821
Warrick16628
Monroe16612
Lawrence16524
Kosciusko1501
Miami1401
Putnam1377
Jennings1304
Orange13022
Scott1203
Marshall1112
Franklin1108
Ripley1096
Carroll932
Daviess9216
Wayne855
LaGrange842
Steuben842
Wabash792
Fayette787
Newton7810
Jasper681
Jay530
Washington521
Clay511
Fulton491
Randolph483
Rush472
Pulaski460
Jefferson451
Whitley433
Starke393
DeKalb371
Sullivan361
Owen351
Perry330
Brown331
Wells320
Benton310
Huntington282
Knox280
Blackford262
Tipton251
Crawford240
Fountain212
Switzerland200
Spencer201
Parke180
Gibson172
Adams171
Posey160
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0167

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 121234

Reported Deaths: 5412
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook784953658
Lake8408292
DuPage7765374
Kane6404178
Will5613277
Winnebago229055
McHenry158572
St. Clair115282
Kankakee91548
Kendall80419
Rock Island66124
Champaign6457
Madison59460
Boone46317
DeKalb4184
Sangamon35029
Jackson28910
Randolph2694
Peoria2389
McLean22013
Ogle2113
Stephenson2092
Macon19419
Clinton18617
Union15511
LaSalle15313
Whiteside14213
Iroquois1324
Coles12715
Out of IL1181
Warren1170
Jefferson10116
Knox1010
Grundy992
Monroe9612
Unassigned930
McDonough8911
Lee811
Cass730
Tazewell735
Henry690
Williamson672
Pulaski560
Marion500
Jasper457
Macoupin452
Adams441
Perry410
Vermilion401
Montgomery391
Morgan361
Christian354
Livingston342
Jo Daviess320
Douglas280
Jersey241
Fayette213
Woodford212
Ford201
Menard200
Mason180
Washington180
Hancock170
Mercer170
Shelby161
Bureau151
Carroll152
Schuyler130
Bond121
Franklin120
Clark110
Crawford110
Fulton110
Logan110
Moultrie110
Piatt110
Brown100
Cumberland100
Johnson90
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Effingham71
Massac70
Saline70
Greene50
Marshall50
Wabash50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
White20
Calhoun10
Edgar10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
Terre Haute
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 80°
Robinson
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 82°
Indianapolis
Few Clouds
78° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 79°
Rockville
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 80°
Casey
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 80°
Brazil
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 80°
Marshall
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 80°
Sunny and Hot!
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events