*From:* Tara Palmeri <xxx@politico.com> *Date:* August 8, 2017 at 3:39:53 PM EDT
*Subject:* *Pool report #3a*

President Trump speaking from a roundtable in a sideroom in his Bedminster, N.J. golfclub about the opioid epidemic:

"It's a tremendous problem in our country, and I hope we get it taken care of as well as it can be taken care of. Hopefully better than any other country that also has these same problems. Nobody is safe from this epidemic that threatens all --young and old, rich and poor, urban and rural communities. Everybody is threatened. Drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in the United States.

"Opioid overdose deaths have nearly quadrupled since 1999. It's a problem,the likes of which we have never seen. Meanwhile the overall drug prosecutions have gone down in recent years.

"At the end of 2016, there were 23percent fewer federal prosecutions than in 2011, so they looked at this surge and they let it go by. We're not letting it go by. The average sentence for a drug offender decreased 20 percent from 2009 to 2016. During my campaign, I promised to fight this battle because as President of the United States my greatest responsibility is to protect the American people and to ensure their safety, especially in some parts of our country, it is horrible.

More statements to come.

TARA PALMERI |*POLITICO*| White House Reporter I M: (973) -xxx-xxxx I O: (703) -xxx-xxxx| xxx@politico.com

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