SYRACUSE.COM BY MARK WEINER
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPqTP6j9qm8 (Watch Video)
WASHINGTON -- Marine Corps 1st Lt. Trey Cleary received one of the biggest surprises of his life Friday when his mother texted him, "Do you have time to talk with POTUS?"
Seconds later, U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney was talking with her son at Camp Lejeune, N.C., who is due to leave Saturday for a six-month deployment to Iraq.
Tenney, R-New Hartford, said she handed her cell phone to a waiting President Donald Trump.
"This is President Trump," the commander-in-chief said. "I'm sitting here with your mother. Thank you for what you do for your country. I'm so proud of you. I want you to do your best. We're all counting on you."
Tenney said she was stunned as the president, before a bill signing ceremony at the Treasury Department in Washington, took the time to have a serious talk with her son.
"They had quite a long conversation for a couple of minutes," Tenney recalled after the ceremony. "I said, 'What's going on? (Trump) laughed a little bit. They must have been joking or something. He handed me the phone back and my son said, 'Oh my God.'"
Tenney, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, joined Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., on Friday as the only two members of Congress to witness Trump sign three executive orders to roll back some of the Dodd-Frank financial reforms passed after the Great Recession.
While waiting for Trump to arrive, Tenney and Perdue chatted in a private room at the Treasury Department. Tenney mentioned that her son, Trey, was due to deploy Saturday to Iraq out of Dulles International Airport in suburban Washington.
"He said, 'That's amazing. You should say something to the president,'" Tenney recalled. She was reluctant to bring it up when Trump arrived, but Perdue told the president and asked if he could sign an autograph for the Marine.
Tenney pulled out a piece of stationery from her backpack, and the president wrote, "To Trey. Thanks. Donald Trump."
Then the president asked, "Can we call him?" Tenney said she replied, "Sure, but let me text him first. He doesn't usually take my calls."
Later, after Trump signed the first of the executive orders in front of the cameras, he handed his pen to Perdue -- a tradition at such presidential signings. "Senator, you get the first one, can you handle that?" Trump asked.
Perdue promptly handed the pen to Tenney to give to her son.
Trump, seated at a desk, turned and looked at Tenney as she accepted the pen with the presidential seal and Trump's name on it. "Oh, that's even better," the president said. "I like that. Great boy."