STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

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 9:09 AM
Updated: Jan 12, 2018 9:09 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."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319704

Reported Deaths: 7369
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22276267
Hinds20677421
Harrison18407317
Rankin13880282
Jackson13689248
Madison10249224
Lee10056176
Jones8464167
Forrest7827153
Lauderdale7260242
Lowndes6509150
Lamar634888
Lafayette6310121
Washington5420137
Bolivar4837133
Panola4669110
Oktibbeha466098
Pearl River4604147
Marshall4573105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425373
Union415777
Monroe4155135
Neshoba4061179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386687
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3369111
Alcorn325972
Scott320174
Yazoo314171
Adams307486
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298189
Tippah291968
Prentiss283861
Leake271974
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George252051
Newton248663
Tishomingo231568
Winston229981
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190374
Clay187854
Stone187833
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164034
Walthall135347
Greene131833
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127138
Amite126342
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108033
Tunica108027
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69532
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548323

Reported Deaths: 11288
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson809531565
Mobile42066826
Madison35663525
Tuscaloosa26162458
Shelby25595254
Montgomery25081612
Baldwin21839313
Lee16265176
Calhoun14718325
Morgan14626285
Etowah14171363
Marshall12449230
Houston10764288
Elmore10295213
Limestone10182157
St. Clair10160251
Cullman9941201
Lauderdale9596249
DeKalb8967189
Talladega8458184
Walker7335280
Autauga7230113
Blount6944139
Jackson6922113
Colbert6414140
Coffee5627127
Dale4929114
Russell454941
Chilton4472116
Franklin431083
Covington4273122
Tallapoosa4136155
Escambia401780
Chambers3726124
Dallas3607156
Clarke352961
Marion3242106
Pike314078
Lawrence3129100
Winston283572
Bibb268464
Geneva257581
Marengo250665
Pickens236862
Barbour234659
Hale226878
Butler224071
Fayette218162
Henry193843
Cherokee187245
Randolph187044
Monroe179341
Washington170439
Macon162951
Clay160159
Crenshaw155657
Cleburne153244
Lamar146537
Lowndes142054
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh113430
Coosa111429
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93534
Choctaw62025
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 83°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 81°
Oxford
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 75°
Starkville
Partly Cloudy
77° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 78°
We continue to monitor a tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico. This will be in heavy rainfall two locations across the southeast over the course of the weekend, and flooding rainfall could be in tow as well. Things are looking better for Father’s Day itself, thankfully.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather