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: 514171

Reported Deaths: 10285
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34920557
DeSoto33270432
Hinds32652642
Jackson24876391
Rankin22516404
Lee16366245
Madison14932283
Jones14129247
Forrest13785260
Lauderdale12279324
Lowndes11314193
Lamar10663140
Pearl River9720244
Lafayette8855143
Hancock7839132
Washington7553169
Oktibbeha7216138
Monroe7036179
Pontotoc7003109
Warren6872178
Panola6768135
Neshoba6732210
Marshall6686142
Bolivar6451151
Union640898
Pike5933156
Alcorn5887107
Lincoln5533136
George510380
Prentiss505385
Tippah492783
Itawamba4857107
Scott478199
Adams4771125
Tate4765117
Leflore4736144
Copiah457095
Yazoo456692
Simpson4554117
Wayne443172
Covington434695
Sunflower4315106
Marion4279112
Coahoma4238109
Leake414090
Newton395782
Tishomingo384894
Grenada3777109
Stone365766
Jasper340866
Attala338790
Winston317892
Chickasaw316167
Clay312578
Clarke301295
Calhoun285949
Holmes271889
Smith269452
Yalobusha244247
Tallahatchie232053
Greene224749
Walthall221866
Lawrence219141
Perry213456
Amite209857
Webster206248
Noxubee188743
Montgomery181857
Carroll174941
Jefferson Davis173843
Tunica163339
Benton153139
Kemper145041
Choctaw136727
Claiborne134439
Humphreys132139
Franklin126029
Quitman107628
Wilkinson106139
Jefferson96934
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 845761

Reported Deaths: 16119
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1161862004
Mobile742411381
Madison53315732
Shelby38351369
Baldwin38104589
Tuscaloosa36052641
Montgomery34492781
Lee25590263
Calhoun22598518
Morgan22459406
Etowah20026518
Marshall18790316
Houston17741425
St. Clair16904358
Limestone16153219
Cullman16067303
Elmore15912294
Lauderdale14991306
Talladega14209299
DeKalb12985269
Walker12067380
Blount10729192
Autauga10526157
Jackson10170194
Coffee9425192
Colbert9341208
Dale9024192
Tallapoosa7273201
Russell708865
Chilton7042170
Escambia6956143
Covington6943195
Franklin6338108
Chambers5785142
Marion5413130
Dallas5295209
Pike5123109
Clarke484886
Lawrence4831129
Winston4780110
Geneva4643136
Bibb434594
Barbour369980
Butler3439100
Marengo342393
Monroe337466
Randolph334867
Pickens333988
Fayette330085
Henry320766
Hale318489
Cherokee318363
Crenshaw260777
Washington256952
Cleburne254560
Lamar251953
Clay251169
Macon245064
Conecuh193162
Coosa185547
Lowndes178268
Wilcox177638
Bullock152545
Perry141840
Sumter139241
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Partly Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 53°
Columbus
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 55°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 50°
Starkville
Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 46°
High pressure will continue to dominate our weather forecast for the next few days. This will keep our area on the dry side and on the unseasonably warm side for this time of the year. We will see most high temperatures well into the 70s over the next few afternoons.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather