White Home press briefing – March 6 | NBC News


Okay so I think many of us would agree that parents should not have to pay extra to sit next to their child on a flight it's just common sense but as recently as a month ago no U.S airlines guaranteed fee free family seating now after the Biden Administration pressed Airlines to improve customer.

Service American Airlines Alaska Airlines and Frontier Airlines have stepped forward to guarantee that parents can sit with their young children without getting nickel and dimed today the Department of Transportation rolled out a new family seating dashboard as you'll see right here.

Highlighting which airlines guarantee fee free fee free family seeding and those that don't this is an added feature to the existing dashboard which already includes services for delayed and canceled flights the dashboard makes it easier for parents to avoid these junk fees and we're not stopping there dot is working.

Towards making this a requirement across the board this is just the latest example of effective presidential leadership driving actions that benefit American consumers workers and families President Biden is leading Americans are supportive and Co-op corporations are responding as you can see also today the Department of Agriculture.

Is taking a number of actions to support American farmers and ranchers increase transparency and lower food prices let's start with product of USA labels currently this label on meat poultry egg products can be used even if the product was not actually raised in the USA we believe that labels should be you only used on animals borne raised and.

Processed here in the United States and now USDA is proposing a rule to accomplish just that this increased transparency will support American farmers and ranchers and make it easier for all of us who all of us know where our food really comes from second the USDA is announcing 89 million dollars in new investment to.

Help establish and expand Independent Meat processors this will create opportunities for small businesses in rural communities and create fairer markets for family and Farmers which brings down prices at the grocery store and lastly USDA is taking action to increase competition and innovation in important seed markets like corn these.

Actions show the administration's commitment to promoting competition for Farmers ranchers and American consumers and deliver on the president's competition executive order with that Chris you want to kick us off please sure uh two questions on the D.C crime situation uh does the White House have a response to City councils wanting to.

Pull back that proposal so as you all know we litigated this about two days last week right here In This Very Room the president expressed concerns on certain provisions of of the of the D.C crime Bill and uh as as we can see the D.C council's process is still ongoing so we won't we won't comment on that any further uh so also.

When we discussing this last week uh you decided mayor Bowser's opposition to the crime report proposal uh but she also says that the override is indignity and Congress is metal and its Affairs uh why didn't the president or the White House give her a heads up that the president wanted to sign this over I look she also said that she understand why the.

President made this decision but but no I wait let me let me let me get into it but you just asked the question let me finish your question that the first question that you asked which is first of all she also said that she understood why the president made the decision our team the off uh the intergovernmental Affairs team is in constant.

Communication with her team and ha and was last week don't have anything to preview or any specific discussion that occurred but they are in constant communication okay so the question is yep heads up I just told you that they're in constant communication including last week.

But I can tell you that our intergovernmental Affairs office was in contact with her office last week okay contact me how it is why if the if the White House uh cites mayor Bowser's position Bill why do they want to do something that she considers an indignity to our city.

Say that again if the White House is going to cite mayor about his opposition to the crime Bill if you say why the President should sign the override legislation why does the White House want to do something that the mayor considers an indignity to the city but she also did did not approve of the piece of the.

Legislation as well then she says it is indignity so let's step back for a second we've we talked about this for two days last week and still going to tell you exactly what I said last week which was the president uh the bill was headed to the president's desk and the president made a decision and we let all of you know.

What he was going to do and how he was going to move forward that's it he was he wanted to make sure that uh he delivered for the 700 000 residents of DC uh in a way that was uh in a way that was protecting the residents here this was brought to him this is not something that we put forward this is a decision that was brought to him and he wanted to.

Be very clear and communicate with the people of DC and with all of you and how he was going to move forward one more legislative question uh there's resolution going forward allowing that was bar retirement plans from offering ESG considerations uh the President says he's or the white asset is going to veto that too many plans for that veto I.

Don't have anything to share on that I believe we have not received the bill yet so just don't have any any timeline on uh on the ESG bill at this time well thank you a couple questions about East Palestine Ohio a North folk southern they announced the study new initiatives they claim will enhance safety a new power mechanism to help.

With braking and acceleration additional devices that can monitor hot bearings is the White House satisfied with these reforms look what we're trying to do we've been very clear the EPA administrator has been very clear secretary Buda judge has been very clear what we're doing is to make sure that the community in East Palestine is made.

Whole again and we're going to hold Norfolk Suffolk company accountable they made this mess and they need to clean up this mess we are pleased by the bipartisanship that we're currently seeing in Congress to put forward some true Common Sense safety measures that is something that we want to continue to move forward as far as it relates to the.

Company we are going to do everything that we can to hold them accountable as you know we set up a fund to support the families and to support the the community getting back economically on their feed in the future so that is going to be our focus and that's how we're going to move forward you see you want to hold them accountable Norfolk.

Southern they're responsible now for four train derailments in less than five months is the administration comfortable with them taking the lead on self-regulation so look it's notable and unacceptable that's what we are we've been very clear about that uh that is why the ETA SB is doing an investigation that is currently.

Happening uh that is something that occurred with the with the first derailment we saw within hours of secretary Buddha judge go into action and respond by making sure that the investigation started the same thing on Saturday the investigation has been for NTSB is it was just uh uh is was uh was just called to to move forward this.

Morning and so that's what we're going to see we're going to have investigation we're going to see exactly what occurred but in the meantime we have to hold them accountable to make sure the community is uh is made whole again are there any plans for President Biden to visit East Coast I don't have anything to share on a planned visit for the president to uh.

To Ohio okay uh thank you speaker McCarthy is planning to meet with the leader of Taiwan in California does the White House have a reaction to that and are you advising them at all so I don't believe tan has announced any travel the Pres for for the President of Taiwan uh taiwan's presidents have traveled to the United States in the past so I would.

Refer you to Taiwan for anything specific on that and certainly I would refer you to the speaker's office any potential meeting that he may be having with the president I just don't from what I understand nothing no announcement has been made preference that a meeting like that would take place in California as opposed to Taiwan.

To avoid again I'm just going to comment on something no I I totally I totally hear your question Jeff it's just not something that I'm going to comment on since it hasn't it doesn't seem like it has been announced at this time or any travel has been put forward and one other topic former president Trump said over the wee weekend in his CPAC.

Comments multiple things um one thing he said to his supporters was I am your Justice and for those who have been wronged and betrayed I am your retribution the White House have a response to that as you know because of uh um he is a 2024 candidate uh uh and we are covered here by the Hatch Act I'm.

Just not going to comment on on those on on those words that he uh the speech that he made this weekend um just want to follow up on something with my colleague says about last week there were protests this weekend in Iran related to the poisoning of the electric poisoning of the school girls there the Administration has any updates in terms.

Of what they've seen or any investigations that may be underway so uh as you know Phil we are closely following this uh concerning deeply concerning situation that we're seeing currently in Iran the continued poisoning of school girls across across Iran is is uh unconscionable there must be a credible independent.

Investigation accountability for those responsible if these poisonings are related to participation in protest then it is well within Mandate of the un's independent International fact-finding mission on Iran to investigate women and girls everywhere have a fundamental right to education time and time again it has been demonstrated that.

When women and girls receive an education and are able to contribute to their economies it benefits society as a whole so the possibility that girls in Iran are being possibly poisoned simply for trying to get an education is is shameful and it's unacceptable and our thoughts remain with the victims of and their families.

And again it is unacceptable and unconscionable and uh just from where there are reports over the weekend that there are two Ukrainian fire Pilots that are in the United States right now training on simulators um wondering if we're supposed to read that as the potential for new capabilities the U.S may send or what.

Kind of what the Genesis of that decision making so uh look the president has already spoken to f-16s as you all know and nothing has changed uh for what the president said is there it is not on the table for now and so that hasn't changed so I'll leave that there can you speak to the uh incident involving four U.S citizens in Mexico.

Who have come under gunfire and have been kidnapped and how the administration may be able to get information out of Mexico or what the status of that is right now so I have a statement here that I want to read out to all of you we are closely following the assault and kidnapping of four U.S citizens in matamorosa Mexico these.

Sorts of attacks are unacceptable our thoughts are with the families of these individuals and we stand ready to provide all appropriate Consular assistance U.S law enforcement is in touch with Mexican law enforcement the Departments of state and Homeland Security are also coordinating with Mexican authorities and we will continue.

To coordinate with Mexico and push them to bring those responsible to Justice and again our hearts with are with the families any early indications as to the circumstances or any efforts to try to locate these Americans don't have anything to share outside what I just laid out clear really we want to be really careful here.

There are privacy concerns and so I don't want to share too much about the information on how we're moving forward or even the individuals we just want to be really mindful on that but clearly uh we're on top of this uh thanks Kareem does the president have a meeting scheduled yet uh for him to sit down with speaker Kevin McCarthy.

About budget or the debt so right now I don't have a a meeting to preview or scheduled right now at this time I've said this before our teams their team and our team have been in constant communication since the first time that they met just don't have anything to preview as you know the president's going to be putting his putting forward.

His his Budget on March 9th and we have called on Republicans in the house to do the same to be transparent to layout exactly what it is that they they how they want to move forward with the fiscal year one of the things that we have we have heard from them is how they want to continue or want to cut Social Security.

Medicare Medicaid and ACA and so we want to see what is it that they want to do how do they see moving forward in a fiscally responsible way as we know the president has been very clear he's going to continue to fight for Social Security he's going to continue to fight for Medicare Medicaid and ACA again we want to see we're going to put our budget.

Forward we want to see what they're going to do timeline on when that don't happen might take place could it happen this week for this week we don't have anything right now uh scheduled at this at this time and originally the treasury secretary said that she could keep Extraordinary.

Measures going through June then the CBO later said uh actually it might be July through September when does the White House believe that things get critical as it relates to the US death we basically uh follow what the Department of Treasury said the secretary said through June and that's where uh that's what we're that's the timeline that.

We're looking at we're reporting today the manufacturing sector illustration are you concerned at all the momentum is slipping there that that could be to do with higher interest rates look we're going to continue uh to make sure that we deliver on the president's Economic Policy economic.

Plan and having seven more than 700 000 jobs have been created under this President shows that commitment and shows how the present economic policy is working look that's why uh this chips and science Act is so important and you've heard over and over uh from these different manufacturers who are coming back to the US who are who are building.

These manufacturers creating jobs and so we're going to continue to work closely uh closely with them and and uh and make that a priority that doesn't stop I don't have any concerns right now to share with you what we are again close to 800 000 jobs have been created under this Administration manufacturing jobs and that is Def that is a commitment.

That this president has had to make sure that we're bringing manufacturers back to the US and you said last week you check on um the license plate on the beach whether it says my homework is not on par today uh we have checked in just haven't gotten an answer.

On that just yet and so we are we are diving in and trying to get an answer to all of you go ahead Steve being on local matters the DC Council chair said today that he thought he had the power to rescind the setting of the bill to the senate for its review uh was there any communication between the White House and Council chairman Mendelson's office.

Prior to his press conference so our our team was made where earlier this morning as you know when it comes to any how the Senate the mechanic the mechanics of the Senate move forward that's something for the Senate I encourage you to ask them and how that will work and how that will move forward but yes we were given we were given a heads up this morning the.

Senate intends to move forward with its vote on the resolution the president still intends to sign it is that right if uh look again we've made ourselves very clear if the if the if the bill comes to the president's desk he will sign it on this I don't think you've been asked this this directly before but.

This week you said that the president viewed what the what they specifically talked about how the bill would produce penalties for our carjacking and you even mentioned sexual assault so the question for is why the president would still support D.C statehood if the council is going to pass bills that the.

President finds unacceptable why would the president empower the council to have the power of a state legislature that he couldn't check because he believes he has for some time now that DC should be a 51 state they should have a statehood again the reason why the president we've been we responded to this and answered the question of if he.

Was going to sign it or not is because it was coming to his desk as we know from last week and so the the president communicated that we communicated that but it doesn't change doesn't change that he encourages Congress to put to pass a bill that makes D.C a state and he will sign it he believes that that cities and and States should be able to.

Govern for themselves last one in this you know Advocates of DC State I'd say that what has happened here in this episode is that the effort has been set back significantly that essentially what the president has done is is he's given juice to opponents of statehood and statehood opponents say that this episode has proven right that the D.C.

Government should not be self-governing without Congress involved well we don't just we we disagree right we believe DC should be a statehood I mean we've been very clear the president has been very clear again DC is not a state it's not a city uh the reason why this bill was coming before before the president is because that is the case right it's not.

A state it's not a city so it doesn't mean that it stops our support for uh their statehood it doesn't mean that the president has changed his mind on that we still support that and want to see that happen and we're going to uh we're going to continue to encourage Congress to move in that way um one of the banks that's having some.

Issues right now called silvergate I'm wondering if you guys are monitoring that on Friday they shut its crypto focused payments Network Silver Gate capital and they said a filing last week that they may have to evaluate the viability after one billion loss in the fourth quarter uh is there anything the administration is doing to monitor that.

Is stepping in that sort of thing so we are aware of the situation and honoring the reports that won't comment on silvergate specifically but it is obviously only the latest company in the cryptocurrency field to experience significant issues in recent weeks banking Regulators have released guidelines on how Banks should protect.

Themselves from risks associated with crypto as you know this is a president that has repeatedly called on Congress to take action to protect everyday Americans from the risk posted by digital assets and he will continue to do so so won't speak to this particular company as we have not on other cryptocurrency companies but we're going.

To continue monitoring the reports and clearly we're aware of the situation that's briefly on the adventures of Meister excuse me search is there any update you can give us and in particular Senator Warren is a Critic of chairman Powell and is called a main Administration to appoint a vice chair that is effectively a counterweight to.

Determine Powell decisions on interest rate hikes do you have a view how do you in essence trying to counterweight the chairman in this process and where is the process at right now I'm certainly not going to get ahead of the president's process or lay out what uh what he's thinking or how that process is going to move forward.

What I can say is this is a priority for this President I don't have anything to preview on any specific candidates or announcements but clearly we'll see we'll have something in the near future oh I wondered Granny if you could comment on some efforts in Republican states like Florida and Texas where they're cracking down on undocumented.

Immigrants in the Florida legislature there's a proposed uh bill that looks at requiring private companies to do more to check the immigration status of their employees in Texas their lawmakers considering a bill that would deny undocumented children access to public education if somebody has something to comment on these efforts so I haven't.

Seen these bills what I can say is and as you know on the first day of this president's uh the president's uh presidency in his tenure first day of his tenure he said very very clearly that he took immigration reform very seriously and he showed that by action by putting forward a piece of legislation that was comprehensive that.

Dealed with the immigration issue that we have seen in this country for some time in a real way and he asked Congress to take action as well and so I can speak to that I can speak to how the president wants to move forward in a way that we're protecting we're protecting uh our border in a secure way which is why he's taken actions whether it's the.

Parolee program whether it's putting 24 000 of federal agents on the ground and making sure that we're doing this in a safe and humane way and so that's what I can speak to that's the way the president wants to move forward and I'll just leave it there this bill says that uh they would deny undocumented children access to public.

Education unless the federal government pays for it if this moves forward in Texas is this something that the administration would continue I'm just not gonna I'm not I'm not going to get it I haven't not I haven't seen that piece of legislation haven't talked to our team it's just not going to get ahead of any State uh local legislation.

What I can tell you is what the president has put forward and what he has um how he sees this process moving forward on the federal level is being coming coming together with Congress Congress coming together with us Republicans actually taking real action and not doing political stunts because that's what we see in these states is.

Continued political stunts and not really dealing with an issue that they can if we came in a bipartisan way we can actually deal with with the immigration concerns in this country but they refuse to do that I wanted to follow up the president being informed what was his reaction you can say anything about.

That I can tell you the president is aware and has been informed and Ambassador Salazar is meeting today with President Lopez obrador in Mexico what what message does the administration wants to convey or what is your priority for that meeting well you know the president went to Mexico most recently for the summit met with.

The Mexican president and also the Prime Minister prime minister Trudeau and they laid out their commitment to to work together on issues that matter uh to uh to the region whether it's immigration whether it's National Security and I think that Summit sent a very loud message to to the people of Mexico to the people of the United States and also.

Canada as you know just to take a step further the president is going to be meeting with the Prime Minister some later this month to continue more of that conversation that they had I don't have anything to preview or to lay out about the meeting that Salazar is having with the president of Mexico but we see Mexico as a close Ally an important.

Partnership that we have in the region and really we want to continue it to grow uh thanks looking ahead to next month April is the end of continuous enrollment for Medicaid How concerned is the White House about these millions of Americans that could lose health insurance well that is something that is.

A concern to to the White House which is why we have continued to work um to make sure that Health Care is Affordable for Americans we've seen us do that with inflation reduction act you're seeing us do that with uh other policies coming out of of the administration we will um clearly you'll see the president's Budget on March 9th.

That will speak to some of this don't want to get ahead of what the president's going to going to lay out in his fiscal year budget so I'll just leave it there uh the president has said that his plan on the budget would reduce the deficit by two trillion dollars over the next decade.

Um how did the Administration land on that number of two trillion and then does that mean that the president does believe the current path of growth in the national debt uh is hurting the economy trying to gauge his concern level around the growth of debt given that we've heard about that two trillion numbers so what I'll say is the.

President understands uh his fiscal responsibility he understands how important it is to lower the deficit which is why he was able to do that the first two years by 2.7 trillion dollars and so by him saying that he's going to do that by a trillion dollars over the next 10 years shows continues to show that commitment and so that is.

Incredibly important and we have said if Republicans want to have a real conversation about how to lower the debt then he's ready to listen he's ready to hear what they have to say that's why we have said we're going to put our budget forward on March 9th and we're we're waiting to see what they're going to do so far their proposals have been uh to.

Add to three trillion dollars to the debt as you think about uh them giving a tax break or giveaways to Millionaires and and the rich and the wealthy uh as as they talk about wanting to cut Medicare Social Security Medicaid ACA that's what they're bringing forward and we're saying you know what we're going to protect those really important.

Programs and uh and we're going to put forward he's going to put forward a fiscal budget that is going to be responsible I'll say a little bit more about um about this week he'll as you know he's going to deliver remarks in Pennsylvania and he's going to show his plans to invest in America continue.

Lowering lowering costs for families protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare reduce the deficit and more as you just asked that question and so you can expect to hear more from us in the days leading up to Thursday we'll have additional information on some of those pieces as we head into into Thursday.

Quickly uh explain the reasoning for traveling for the budget rollout um you know going to Pennsylvania for this obviously that's an important state when it comes to forthcoming election um why why travel too so I'm not going to get into elections but as you know president is uh that is uh Pennsylvania is very close to his heart uh he sees.

That as a as his Idol second home and um and so we believe when we go out there and and travel and do uh and go to places like Pennsylvania and other states it's an opportunity for the president to talk directly to the American people this is important right when you think about the fiscal year budget you think about how the.

President's going to lay out his plan for the American people he thinks it's important to do that and make sure that uh you know that he does it talks directly uh to to um to the people to American people out there and that's what you're going to see him do and so he'll just happen to be doing it in Pennsylvania a place that.

We travel to a lot as you all know those who those who travel with us go ahead Ed yeah thanks I want to ask you about energy policy so if the president had allowed the Keystone Pipeline the Keystone XL to go forward it would have been operating today or very close to being turned on today any regrets about canceling that project and any.

Consideration of reversing any energy policies for a more balanced approach going forward so the president has been very clear about how he how he's approaching the energy space uh you know he does it in a way that is responsible he does it in a way that delivers for the American people there's nothing new here the.

Decision that he's made uh at the same time you know having one of the most uh one of the most uh important historical climate when it comes to climate change uh Investments and policies that does that is not going to change on how the president moves forward here it is when when he walked into the administration he talked about how climate change was.

One of the important uh crises that we needed to address and that's what you've seen from this President the last two years and that's not his decisions are not going to change that but even with there was a leaked memo that showed that um energy if we had charged less for a certain drilling oil permits or royalties in a part of Alaska then there.

Would be more energy security so I'm not going to speak to leek Mills from here that is not something that I'm going to do uh uh I believe the league memos from the Department of interior that you're speaking to just not going to do that I encourage you to reach out to the Department of interior appreciate that touring with Spectrum.

News by the way great thank you so much um on the note of uh the budget proposal uh this is happening he's unleashing or unveiling this um proposal under the shadow of the debt ceiling and you know since February was the last time according to house Speaker McCarthy uh the president has sat down with the speaker to talk about uh some type of.

Deal uh McCarthy says he rejects you know a clean increase uh without some concessions or spending cuts is the president going to come back to the table with McCarthy to talk about it what's the the plan here he never came to the table to go shade on the debt ceiling that was not something that occurred that is not something that's.

Happening we've been very clear we're not negotiating around the debt ceiling this is something that Congress needs to do it is their constitutional Duty it is something that has happened 78 times since 19 60 it is something that happens in a bipartisan way they should not put the full full faith and credit of this country hostage should not keep that.

Hostage and so this is something that we believe that should happen uh without without conditions and so that's how that's how we've been moving forward we've been very very clear about that I just talked to one of your colleagues about the thing that we are happy to talk about is how to lower the deficit we are happy to have the president would.

Look forward to having a conversation a real conversation with House Republicans on how to do that because he has been successful in doing that 1.7 trillion dollars the first two years and he'll he'll share more with his Budget on March 9th she says we're about three or four months away from you know true disaster.

Here is that not at all concerning that you know you know there can't be some deal yeah and that should be concerning to House Republicans it should be because this is something that has been done again multiple times over the last several decades and this is something that is their constitutional duty to do is to lift the debt ceiling and it's.

Been done in a bipartisan way they did it three times three times under the last Administration first of all in the Taiwanese president how does the White House feel about her proposed visit to the U.S what outcomes do you hope to see from it and will any Administration officials be meeting with.

Her right now there is no um there's no planned travel so I'm not going to speak to a travel that has not been planned and I as stated earlier it is not it wouldn't be the first time that a Taiwan uh Taiwanese president has traveled to the U.S but I'm just not going to speak to a travel that has not been locked in yet he has a second question.

Um about the international women of Courage Awards uh you're giving an honorary award to the women and girls of Iran who's going to be accepting that on their behalf and what sort of message does it send if they can't be here they can't participate you know what is the point of doing this well we think it's incredibly important do this first of.

All one of the reasons that we're doing it here at the White House is we wanted to bring those stories of these incredible women uh to to the White House to a big to a bigger stage right to the biggest stage that we could and we're doing it right here at the White House which we think is incredibly important uh for uh women around the.

World but also women here and young girls here to hear the stories of these incredible individuals girls everywhere need to know that there are women who are fighting for them transforming their communities and building a better a better world for all of us and so we think it's critical we think it's important that we think it needs to be.

Seen and we are really thrilled to to see this on Wednesday don't have anything more to share we'll have more to preview in the next day or two thank you uh just to Circle back on something you said earlier about um DC you said uh DC it's not a state it's not a city what did you mean meaning that uh what I'm trying to say is we it's not a.

It's not a state who it doesn't have statehood right and I've said this before said it last week nothing new I'm not saying anything that's new here uh and because it's not a statehood right the president was had to make a decision this bill was brought because this bill was about to be uh to be uh taken to his desk and that's the only reason this is.

Happening and so again the president's going to continue to support D.C statehood so that we can see it um we can see it govern for itself that's what he believes he believes that cities and states across the country should be able to govern on its own can you just guess I know this was a decision made last week but obviously.

Here in the district 700 000 people yeah what was the president was there a policy process around this uh this decision when did the president know about it did he speak with the mayor himself were there any sort of conversations or you know how did he come to this decision so I don't have a timeline to lay out for you on the.

Process and how it occurred I don't have a conversation to preview for you with the with the mayor as I mentioned before our offices here uh not just the intergovernmental Affairs but other White House offices are regular in regular touch with the mayor in her office and her staff but just don't have anything to lay out but look the.

President knew he had to make a decision he had conversations with his team and he made that decision there's another DC uh DC Council disapproval resolution that is uh pending related to non-citizens voting in local elections is there an update on the president's position uh something more definitive on whether he would sign.

That bill so I can tell you and I was asked this last week the president does not support allowing all citizens to to vote in federal elections that he's been we've been clear about that from here as it relates to that particular Vote or that particular bill I don't have any updates from here to share to share with you on.

That and we'll update you as soon as if we have anything if that changes thank you I have a question about the willow project in Alaska what's more important to President Biden improving energy security or reducing fossil fuels so first of all um it doesn't have to be one or the other right we can try to be.

Different in 2019. I guarantee you we are going to end fossil fuel so this project would just be dead right so here's what I can say about that the president did meet with the Alaska delegation last week at the White House he always appreciates uh uh me speaking and meeting with the full delegation understand what their concerns are so.

I'll leave it there and when it comes to that specific decision that's something that the Secretary of interior is going to make so I'm not going to get ahead of uh of where she's going to be but the president has met with the delegation and I'm just going to leave it there okay and another subject how worried should Americans be about China spying.

On them here at home and what do you mean specifically Peter well there were the Chinese spy balloons and now there are these Chinese spy cranes The Wall Street Journal is comparing them to Trojan horses and use at 80 percent of U.S ports so let me first say that what the American people could be assured of is that this President is going to.

Protect them and making sure that we put our National Security First when it comes to um when it comes to anything that they feel could be could threaten that and so and the president has shown that he's shown that over and over again so on on the cranes you don't have to I don't have any comment on that specific reporting I would refer you to.

Department of Transportation and the Department of Defense who've been tasked with Congress to study this particular issue the National Security Council in close coordination with the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense Coast Guard and members of the intelligence committee have been actively working to address potential.

Cyber vulnerabilities across the Marine transportation system this includes enhanced coordination across the federal government and engagement with key stakeholders in the maritime industry and just last month the administration issued a worldwide Maritime Port vulnerabilities advisory underscoring the potential threats posed by Foreign.

Manufacturer Ford equipment so again this is something that the president takes very seriously and will always take action to make sure we protect our national security and if this is a Department of Transportation Nation lead does secretary Buddha judge have experience it's it's not just it's not just the Department of Transportation.

It's also the Department of Defense next screen um has the president had a chance to look at the parents Bill of Rights bill it's being proposed by some House Republicans I can't speak to president has reviewed or not reviewed at this time okay all right go ahead last week the Department of Justice acknowledged that.

In 2020 they had used uh the FBI had used 702 authorities to illegally spy on a member of Congress can you tell us who that member of Congress was has that member of Congress been briefed by the White House I would refer you to Department of Justice just not going to speak to that from here go ahead thanks Craig.

Um on the budget that's coming out later this week you've referred to it as the fiscal year budget uh which it is it has also been talked about in the last couple months as it relates to the debt ceiling and we've heard the president in the recent months as well talk about the need to finish the job and talk about at the State of the Union mentioned that.

Phrase today should we view the budget that's coming out I know you won't get into specifics but in terms of this fiscal year document in terms of needing to take on the debt ceiling or in terms of something much bigger than that a job that the president wants to finish in the upcoming so when he talks about finishing the job he talks about looking.

At the first two years of his administration and what he's been able to accomplish you hear the president speak to how he has built an economy and wants to continue to build an economy from the bottom up middle out you think about the pieces of the historic pieces of legislation that he's been able to get done we were talking about someone.

Just asked me about the manufacturing jobs almost 800 manufacturing jobs have been created under this President that's because of his his policies you think about the inflation reduction act which lowers costs on Health Care lowers costs and energy is going to change many people's lives if you think about insulin and capping that at 35 dollars.

For our seniors all of those things are incredibly important he wants to build on that but then if you move forward and you've fast forward and you look at just November and what happened in in during the midterms the American people were very clear they want us to come together and continue to deliver for them they want us to continue to fight for their.

Freedoms they want us to continue to make sure that we lower cost and so that's what the president is talking about he wants this he's asking and saying to Congress members come work with us Republicans why don't we come together and work in a bipartisan way so we can finish the job and that was the message that the president said in front.

Of Congress at the State of the Union to finish what he started that has been historical and that is going to be transformational for for families across the country secondly a month ago on February 6th that asked you about Tick Tock whether it was a national security risk and you would notice that there was an ongoing cypheus review at the time.

Just last week there was some conversation about this as well and you said that it is a quote or you talked about the quote potential National Security risk so is cypheus just if you could clarify does the White House believe that Tick Tock is a potential National Security risk or is that what's cepheus and that process works itself.

Through all the time so there's a cyphus investigation so we try not to dive in too much because there is a cypheus process that's going going that's ongoing and we want to let that process go forward but we have been very clear on our concerns like uh with apps like Tick Tock I've said that before you've heard us say that from here we know.

Certain countries including China seek to leverage digital Technologies and Americans data in ways that can present National Security risks and so that is that has been our statement that is what we have said for the past several months but again it's under uh it's under uh Sophia's the committee is moving forward on looking into this so we try not to.

Get too far ahead of that by traveling to Philly the the president is obviously making a big thing out of this budget but we know that many Americans find it difficult to really understand what he's doing with the economy it's not very concrete and a budget is as you said like big figures trillions billions and not maybe not.

Relatable so what's his strategy to make it a little more real for you know so I'm not going to get ahead of what the president's going to say he's going to give remarks he'll lay that out in front of the American people and how he sees the fiscal year uh moving forward how he sees the budget uh for the American people he's going to be transparent he's.

Going to lay that out and be very specific we've talked about how he wants to invest in America right he talks about how he's going to fight for Social Security Medicare Medicaid they say those are things that Americans understand very personally especially if you think about these programs that they pay into and so that is going to be very.

Important for him to lay that out but it's not just that present's going to be fiscally responsible you all will see this he'll commute directly communicate that directly with the American people but we want to see what are the House Republicans going to do and we've been very clear about that because what they want to do is the complete opposite of.

The Trump what the President's trying to do we want to fight for programs that's important to taxpayers important to our seniors important to Veterans and they want to take that away think about social security again Medicare and so you'll hear directly from the American people but from the president but in the last couple of weeks in this last.

Several months the president has laid that out you heard it at the State of the Union he's been very clear on what he believes in on how he sees the economy growing and how he's going to continue to fight for Americans um thanks Corinne um on student loans the president said last week that he's not.

Confident that the Supreme Court will decide to clear his plan so I'm checking if you have an update on what the alternative is if his student loan plan is struck down so look he's also said we're confident in our legal Authority and I think that matters and of course we're not going to know where the Supreme Court is going to ultimately.

Decide on what direction they're going to go but what you saw from the SG last week was a very strong defense of the president's plan and right now the plan that we have before The Supreme Court is the plan that we have for the American people and we believe that again we have the legal Authority that the other side does not it doesn't it does not have uh.

The standing or the Merit to to really move forward with what they're trying to do and it is unfortunate it is unfortunate that you have certain elected officials across the country that are trying to prevent nurses and doctors and teachers from getting this type of benefit we're talking about 90 percent of Americans who are going to.

Who are part of this program that are considered for this program make less than seventy five thousand dollars a year 90 90 and so it's going to give it's going to give that extra breathing room as you hear the president speak to and we think it's very important and the president's going to continue to fight just like you saw the solicitor general.

Do last week all right well good Courtney thank you I wanted to ask you about a bill that passed the Senate last week on declassifying the origin zip code in 19. the bill passed by unanimous consent in the Senate what's the president's position on it so I just I I was just talking to my colleagues about that I.

Need to connect with the National Security Council to speak more on that but yes that just was the flag for me coming out before I came out good Brian thank you very much um King Charles is going to go through a coronation ceremony on May 6th foreign countries and foreign governments have been notified about that will the.

President attend Will President Biden attend King Charles's coordination ceremony so I don't have uh anything to we don't have anything to to announce at this time about a travel to the UK or a delegation at this time as well but I can say that the United States will be represented at King Charles coordination uh and I expect it we'll have more.

Information to share on that too doesn't attend should it be seen as a snap to the monarchy there's going to be presentation U.S presentation uh just don't have anything to share at this time okay great thanks there was a report last week about how Ford's F-150 Lightning their electric EV truck is contributing to high pollution.

Deforestation the Amazon is President Biden regret endorsing that truck back in 2021 has anyone talked to Ford about how they should Source aluminum for the frame from a different line no does do not regret that and don't have any conversation to read out at this time real quick I know you're probably going to say.

Hatch Act as restricting you in this but is the president uh annoyed frustrated with Marianne Williamson for jumping in the race ahead of him did he want a clear field to run against the Republican nominee in 2024. just not tracking that I mean if I had a a what is it called a little a little Globe here where's the wall.

That I can tell you but I imagine eight ball whatever if I could feel her Aura I just I just don't have it here I just don't have anything to share on that I'm um okay in the back sorry can you speak to if there's been any um any argument against.

Renewed coven uh Renee covet um funding it within the president's budget if so what what happens yeah I'm not going to get ahead of the president's budget at this time um you'll hear directly from him on Thursday I mentioned how there will have some parts of his budget that will kind of lay out for all of you ahead of.

Thursday they're just not going to get ahead of of the president at this time um I want to ask you about the protests over the weekend near Atlanta dozens of people were arrested protesting the so-called cop city is the president aware of this and is the White House worried about this escalating let's say that again what was the.

Protest uh the protest was it's a facility a training facility that's being constructed uh for police officers it's called cop City it's near a black residential area the protesters are concerned that this is going to lead to escalation of police militarization there have been 23 that.

Have been charged with domestic terrorism but there were 35 people arrested so the concern is is the what is the president aware of this is the White House concerned about this escalating and then I also had a follow-up the Georgia attorney general has said that some of the people that have been arrested were from outside of.

The United States from Canada from France from an international group that we're here just to undermine American Public Safety so is the White House tracking this and how worried is the White House about this no we have not been I've not heard any discussions about this protest over the weekend so we'd have to go back to the.

Team and see where we are where we're standing and and a response on that just this is the first time I'm hearing on about this protest over the weekend so just would have to come back with you to you on that all right Stephen okay thank you Saudi Arabia human rights question for you verse and then I'd like to ask you.

About Russia sanctions regarding Saudi Arabia there's a 72 year old U.S citizen named Assad Ahmadi who is in prison for a series of tweets he wrote when he was in Florida he was given the 16-year sentence in October and you commented on the case then the Saudi appeal system I decided to review the case last month decided he needed an extra three years.

In prison despite the White House condemning the original sentence his son told me he was a middle fingered President Biden and that he wants his father to be declared wrongfully detained there's been some bipartisan reaction to this congresswoman ilhan Omar told me that it's quote atrocious and Unbecoming for the Biden.

Administration not to declare him wrongfully detained so just President Biden have a reaction to the new sentence and is there a reaction to this one so we have been in monitoring the case of Mr Mr Saad Abrahim almadi as you know I think I've mentioned this before not just myself but my National Security Council colleagues have as well since we.

Learned of his arrest and have been in regular contact with his family we have brought up and raised our concerns regarding this case at senior levels at the Saudi government so that is something that we've been very vocal about and brought up again to government officials and exercising our belief is exercising the freedom of expression.

Including through social media should never be criminalized I'm not going to get into the process here and and how we move forward that's something that the state department as it relates to these types of issues but we've made ourselves very clear and we made ourselves clear as well to the Saudi government President Biden is upset.

About the new sentence what I can say is that we have raised our concerns and have spoken to spoken to this particular individual a couple of times from this podium regarding Russia's sanctions I'm wondering if you could share the reason why President Biden hasn't sanctioned the Russian billionaires Vladimir yet to.

Shank off and Elena batarina how is he handling the conflict of interest they were giving his son was a business Associated these two people and can you confirm that as sitting vice president he dined with batarina in Georgetown I'm just not speaking to um anything that's related to his son from here if you want to have if you want to ask a question.

About Hunter Biden specifically I would refer you to his family and as it relates to any sanctions I'm not speaking to individual individual persons that are from Russia okay thank you I want to ask you about covet Origins I understand that administrations try to get to the bottom of this I just want to ask you if the.

Final conclusion might look like is it going to be look like each institution that is looking into and investigating come up with their own conclusions or Administration will have one final perspective as you know the intelligence Community is looking into this this is something that the president has asked.

Since the since a few months into his administration and so they're redoubling down their efforts they're looking into the origins of covid clearly it's important we believe he believes it's important to get to the bottom of this especially as we look ahead to the Future and trying to prevent uh any future pandemics I'm just not going to.

Get ahead of the intelligence Community they're working through this and I'll just leave it there all right thanks everybody I'll see you tomorrow

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