Sources: Biden pissed off over White House response to labeled documents account


This morning. Sources tell CNN that President Biden is growing frustrated over how his administration is handling the message on the discovery of classified d at his private office and home. CNN is also told.

That even more searches of President Biden's properties are possible. CNN's M.J. Lee is at the White House with m another headache for this admini So is there a new strategy in terms of messaging and what is that strategy?.

Well, what we are learning is that as this story has consumed the White House over the last week, President Biden himself has grown frustrated at what he feels like, has been a story.

That has overshadowed a positive street for the admini And meanwhile, in the building behind me, White House aides who were many of them in the dar about this story until the story really broke las that their mood is one of quiet resignation,.

That there are sort of a it is what it is mentality right as they to wait like most everyone else, to see if more classified documents sur And what has been really notable in reporting out this story is that.

Even some of the president's clo allies are sort of starting to wonder out loud why the White House wasn't more forthcoming about all of this and about what they have known and why they weren't more forthcoming sooner.

Particularly puzzled by the White House counsel's office decision to put out that initial statemen last week, but not disclose that they knew about additional documents. For example, former Senator Doug Jones.

Is somebody that I spoke to for this story, and he said that he believes the White House has made some unforced errors. He told me once you make a statement, once you have the facts, you have to be full and complete.

They weren't full and complete. And he says, gosh, come on, you all, you've got to do a bett when things like this happen. That's exactly what I would say. He obviously used a slightly dif word there. Importantly, though, Jones did.

Tell me that he thought the lawyers had basically handled everything appropriately by initially going quickly to the National Archives to tell them about the discovery of the docum.

And answers to the questions you were posing before about why the White House and Biden insiders handled this as they did what governed their decisions and statements? Well, what we're basically learn is that ever since.

Those first batch of classified documents was discovered in early November, the small number of aides have known about the existence of the docum have operated under the basic rule of don't share anything publicly.

That could jeopardize this inves And a part of that calculation clearly comes from Bob Bauer him This is the personal lawyer to President Biden, who has been taking lead on this You saw that statement from him over the weekend when he tried to lay out.

How he has been trying to balance transparency and not interfering with an ongoing investigation as a part of that. He said, look, I think it's impo to not be publicly sharing infor about the investigation as it is And we have seen this coming.

From the president himself. Remember yesterday he went to this MLK Day, a breakfast event, and he had a private conversatio I'm told, with Reverend Al Sharp Sharpton told me that when they had this private conversation,.

The president didn't bring up this issue at all. And when he did bring up House Republicans, in that conversation, it wasn't to talk about the investigations that they are promising. Sharpton said that, said.

That it was a talk about how he wanted to reach out to th to talk about issues like voting So sort of a telling exchange that I think goes to show how the White House is operating right now. M.J. Lee, thank you so much.

For sharing your reporting. We'll see you soon. Joining us now to Lou all over N a White House bureau chief for The Washington Post, and CNN legal analyst Jenn Rogers, former federal prosecuto Welcome, both of you. So to Lou,.

Is there a way now for the White House to reverse course, perhaps get ahead of this story now that a special counsel has been appointed? What more ca Well, first, they have to hope there are no more classified documents out there.

That will add to this news cycle which has continued for more tha now, in part because it's been a drip, drip, drip cycle in which we've seen new information coming out, new classified docum being found in different locatio.

So they have to hope that they h the full review. It's not yet clear. They haven't confirmed that. They have done a full review of all the various locations where classified documents might But if they have done that revie and once they suggest that revie.

It will be incumbent upon them to put out as much inf to the public as possible. Otherwise, you get speculation, you get investigations, you get a number of people wonde person it actually appears. And so it's going to be incumben upon the White House,.

People close to the president, his lawyers, to put out as much information, as transparent as possible. Not about not only about what's out there, but also about what what they've found so far, including the documents.

Found at the office that he had the documents found in his Wilmington home. It'll be important for them to say exactly what happened, how it happened, who found them, and why this took place so that the American people can.

Be confident that this is not anything more than very often what the president sa which is a mistake, something that shouldn't have ha but something that was only a sense of sloppiness as op you know, people.

Taking things that they shouldn' have taken on purpose. Jennifer Rogers, to that point, it's all he was talking about. But the news cycle lawyers care about that in a way, but they care about other things What are the legal open legal questions.

That still exist here beyond? Are there any more documents Well, we have the special counse to decide whether there's any criminal liability here. I mean, that's the big ticket it Rob her is now conducting an investigati just how those documents.

Ended up being where they were f Was there any criminal action he Was it intentional that they wer Were they mishandled? You know, under the statutes you need intentionality. So I think from what we've seen it doesn't look like there will be criminal charges h.

But that's what Rob her job is n to figure that out And the question is, what is Congress doing, Rob? Her and the Justice Department are going to have to defend his investigation. They can't allow their witnesses to be interviewed.

By congressional committees. They can't allow this informatio to leak out into the public real while it's being criminally look So they need to protect their investigation. And I anticipate a battle between the congressional commit.

That are getting going in terms of requesting informati about this and the Justice Department and r special counsel's office as they conduct their investigat going forward. Well, to Lou, that could just be.

One of the many battles that we could see in Congress in the coming days and weeks. The U.S. government is expected to hit the debt ceiling as early as this week, Thursday, according to the Treasury Depart You have Kevin McCarthy saying h.

To negotiate the White House isn't budging. But in terms of what Kevin McCarthy is ready to negot he's got a faction within his own party that clearly held his own speakership hostage What are you hearing about.

What they're willing to do and how far they're willing to g in holding the debt ceiling host until they get what they want Kevin McCarthy won the speakership in part by promising these hard line verses conservatives within his caucus.

That he would take the fight to the White House over the debt ceiling that he wo just approve an increase in the debt ceiling as we've don multiple times in the past. And so this is a collision course between the White House, which says they're not going to.

That we've already incurred thes We have to pay the bills that we And the Republicans who are sayi that they want to stop the spend they want to reduce spending, they want to make cuts to different programs. And so it does appear that.

This is a major collision that is likely to happen in the next few months in which the Republicans are saying that they need to neg they need spending cuts. The White House is saying that they're not going to negotiate over this.

Because they've seen what has ha in the past where negotiations happened over the debt ceiling. And it led to, you know, the sort of major problems in th economy. And so the White House.

And the Republicans at some point are going to have to get into a and work this out. But right now, it seems like they're not feeling the pressure And the Treasury Department, I think, is trying to put.

Some of that pressure on by sayi we don't have a lot of time. You guys got to figure out what you're going to do, figure out how to get this debt ceiling raised so we don't default on our debt for the first time in U.S. histo And so it does appear that there.

A little bit of a gridlock right and it will require some deft handling of this by President Biden and by his administration, because right now it seems like the Republicans are not going to approve anythin.

Without getting some sort of spending cuts, some sort of movement on the issues that they care abo And Speaker McCarthy has his hands tied as well. So it does appear that this is going to be a major collision.

At some point in the next few mo And it's not yet clear how it's going to work out just It seems like deja vu, right, almost every year. We're at this near collision poi The question is what you know, a what point does it really impact the US economy.

And our credit rating to all ove Jennifer Rogers, thank you

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