White Residence holds press briefing | NBC Recordsdata


Us our bilateral cooperation as well as our Collective efforts to support Ukraine and bolster NATO's deterrence he will also meet with the leaders of the Bucharest nine a group of our Eastern flank NATO allies to reaffirm the United States unwavering support for the security of the alliance in addition President Biden will deliver.

Remarks ahead of the one-year anniversary of Russia's brutal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine addressing how the United States has rallied the world to support the people of Ukraine as they defend their freedom and democracy and how we will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine for as long as it takes with that my.

Colleague John Kirby from the NSC is going to come up and share some words and take some questions afternoon everybody just a couple things here at the top I think you know president Lula from Brazil is here today we'll be meeting with the president soon he's looking forward to that discussion.

Brazil is a key partner of the United States in a region that is also a critically important region and an allies we work together to address common challenges throughout the world quite frankly not just in this part of it president has personal experience working with President Lula from his time as vice president and they met.

Several times and have had multiple calls and we of course as you know we've already held a number of high-level engagements since president Lula's election President Biden called president Lula shortly after he was elected to congratulate him and begin identifying areas where the two countries could work.

Together National Security adviser Jake Sullivan traveled to Brazil for meetings with then president-elect Lula and members of his incoming Administration and Secretary of the Interior Deb Holland led a presidential delegation to Brazil for the inauguration and of course following the January 8 attack on Brazil's democracy President.

Biden was quick to call President Lula to convey the United States unwavering support for democracy in Brazil the two have had or they will have a packed agenda here today discussing issues that are important to both of them and as I said to the region and to the world that includes combating climate change stimulating Economic.

Development strengthening democracy promoting human rights inclusion as well as managing irregular migration now this meeting between the two leaders will strengthen the relationship between the United States and Brazil and will help set the stage for upcoming high-level engagements between our two countries.

One more note uh before we jump into questions and this is just an update on uh U.S efforts to respond and to help uh provide assistance to uh the people of turkey and Syria in the wake of those devastating earthquakes we are ramping up our assistance uh to uh to these earthquakes that have now killed more than 20 000 people in Turkey a in Syria.

Including that we know of at least eight American citizens now this is a terrible tragedy obviously and our hearts continue to go out to all those impacted we remain in close contact with our Turkish allies at every level of government including of course a phone call between President Biden and.

President erdogan yesterday we announced that the United States will provide 85 million dollars in life-saving assistance to provide shelter to the displaced as well as food medicine and other desperately needed Aid in Turkey a a usaid Disaster Assistance and response team is already on the ground and two of our most highly.

Trained Urban search and rescue teams are conducting operations in support of Turkish rescue efforts in adiaman one of the hardest hits hardest hit areas inside the country these teams have nearly 200 Personnel combined between them specialized equipment and and canine support dogs as well.

They have been able to expand their operational reach with the support of U.S military Blackhawk helicopters and because of the extensive damage to roads and the bridges ground transportation I think you can understand is is pretty challenging they'll continue to run airlift operations from incirlik transporting rescue Personnel to sites.

That they are most needed to conduct operations the dart teams as we call them are also conducting structural damage assessments of many buildings and infrastructure to date they have been able to cover more than 630 sites across adiaman in Syria our humanitarian Partners continue to urgently scale up response.

Efforts to reach people in need that that work will include or has included chartered flights that are transporting Essential Medical supplies and teams Distributing hot meals and other Foods as of this morning the United Nations and United Nations and its Partners successfully completed its second cross-border humanitarian Convoy into.

Northwest Syria and one of our humanitarian Partners delivered 14 additional truckloads of supplies through the Bob alhawa Crossing totaling now 20 trucks of critical medicine's food and water to people in need over the last two days to underscore that U.S sanctions will not prevent or inhibit prohibiting.

Humanitarian assistance in Syria yesterday the Department of Treasury I think you saw issued a broad General license to provide additional authorizations for disaster relief assistance to the Syrian people we already were able to deliver humanitarian assistance without this General license but we wanted to.

Underscore the importance of humanitarian Aid getting in and so the treasury went ahead and issued this license as well this license will be in effect for six months U.S humanitarian assistance is delivered directly to the Syrian people no matter where they live we are determined to do all that we can to help those affected by these.

Earthquakes in the days weeks and months ahead as required thank you thank you why the president decided to go to Poland what a message he wants to deliver and is there any chance that he would visit Ukraine during his visit to to Poland and I have also one on.

President doula's visit president Dura said he wanted to create a group of countries including China and India to mediate peace between Ukraine and Russia does the president support this effort is this the right time for opening negotiations okay well there's a lot there uh.

So look on the on the on the trip I don't have any other additional stops to speak to uh Karine announced the purpose of the trip and that's to go to Poland and uh um and uh in korean's uh opening statement I think she answered your main question which is what does he want to talk about he wants to talk about uh the.

Importance of the international community's resolve and unity in supporting Ukraine for now going on a year wouldn't it be great if the president didn't have to make a trip around a one-year anniversary of a war that never should have started sadly that's where we are and he wants to make sure that he's sending that strong.

Message not only of the United States resolve but the International Community resolve and to make clear to the Ukrainian people most particularly that the United States is going to continue to stand by them going forward we know the next weeks and months are going to be difficult and critical especially for their armed forces in the United States.

Is going to continue to stand by them um on your question about the president Duda and his uh is is peace overtures or ideas is that what president I'm sorry yeah he said that he wants to create a group of countries to negotiate peace in Ukraine and those groups according to Kane would include China India maybe some other countries well I.

Certainly would refer to president Lula to speak to to his ideas I think uh in the in the aggregate we all would like to see this war end today we'd like to see it end right now in other words without having to go to the negotiating table that doesn't appear to be in the offing as Mr Putin just over the last 24 hours.

Flew dozens more cruise missiles into civilian targets uh into Ukraine knocking out um uh heat and power across the country so absent that we're going to have to stay at the task of supporting Ukraine so that they can succeed at the battlefield so that if and when President zielinski.

Has determined it's time to negotiate and sit down at the table to solve this diplomatically he can do it with the wind at his back he can do it with the strength that he that he knows he's going to need in that negotiation so it's really up to president zielinski to determine if and when negotiations are appropriate and certainly under what.

Circumstances as President Biden has said countless times nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine I'm gonna trip to Poland and we expect the president to make any kind of formal announcement as it pertains to maybe additional security Aid or will it mostly be sort of a symbolic show of support as you were talking about to the.

Ukrainian people um the U.S polish Alliance I want to get ahead of the president's uh remarks certainly I'm not going to do that um again the president will make it very clear that the United States will continue to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes he will continue to call for the kind of international Unity.

That we've seen not just across NATO but across the world uh or not just across Europe um and I think he will certainly make clear that additional security assistance additional financial assistance additional help for Ukraine will be coming from the United States but I won't get ahead of anything.

Specific and I had a quick follow-up on the Chinese spy balloon this idea that President Xi Jinping may not have been aware of the order or to send this balloon over U.S soil what would that tell you if that were true about his grip on his own government is it you know is it possible that it suggests a kind of power breakdown is it surprising.

To the U.S you certainly can't confirm uh these reports uh about uh president xi's personal knowledge of that and I would refer you to the PRC to speak to their own uh leadership issues and uh and information sharing um what matters to us is that this was a violation of our.

Sovereign airspace and clearly with intent now who's intent I don't think we have a perfect picture of that right now clearly without question the the intent of the PRC because we know that this balloon belonged to them and President Biden acted decisively in support of our national sovereignty but our reporting.

Is that U.S officials briefing long told online workers that this is the U.S intelligence community so I'm not going to speak to intelligence assessments from Napoleon uh thank you Admiral um there's been warnings from the ukrainians as well as intelligence agencies in both Europe and in here that.

As the one-year Mark of the war approaches that might be a moment where Putin tries to really escalate the conflict maybe even launch some sort of major new offensive are you seeing any signs of that being in the works what we see Jonathan is that uh the Russians continue to conduct offensive operations in the donbos area the fighting around.

Back remains pretty vicious even as you and I are talking clearly as we've seen over the last 12 hours he's willing to continue to barrage the country with cruise missiles knocking out civilian infrastructure and trying to make life more difficult for the Ukrainian people and we do believe that he will try to take advantage of these winter months.

To restock respigh re-arm uh contribute to his Manpower um in um in what could be offensive renewed offensive operations come spring but have we seen all that take shape now I don't believe we're at a point where we've seen all of that really uh form.

But we are anticipating that and frankly so are the ukrainians um and that's one of the reasons why you've seen in just recent weeks the kinds of security assistance packages from the United States and from others that are more advanced capabilities the kinds of capabilities that will allow them to fight an open terrain combined.

Arms capabilities armored capabilities artillery all of that is designed to help them prepare for whatever the Russians might be planning in the spring all that's to say we do expect that again as the weather improves the fighting will probably get more vicious but really briefly can you speak to rumors that there is another Chinese.

Balloon above Alaska or any other price of U.S territory that the U.S shot down so I can confirm that the Department of Defense was tracking a high altitude object over Alaska airspace in the last 24 hours out uh the the object was flying at an altitude of forty thousand feet and posed a reasonable threat to the.

Safety of Civilian flight out of an abundance of caution and the recommendation of the Pentagon President Biden ordered the military to down the object and they did and it came and inside our territorial Waters those Waters right now are frozen but inside uh territorial uh airspace and over territorial Waters.

Fighter aircraft assigned to U.S Northern command took down the object within the last hour okay John and thank you for thank you if I put that U.S is providing to Turkey specifically we understand that the USS George H.W bush is on standby uh can you update us on whether.

There's been any Communications with Ankara on whether the ship will be any part of humanitarian efforts I think I updated as much as I could right now that what we're doing is what I put in my opening statement you're right that there are naval assets that are in the Mediterranean and uh under the command of U.S naval forces Europe.

The commander of U.S European command has designated the commander of U.S naval forces Europe as in charge of of the operational coordination for military assets um and there and he is doing that um uh I I cannot uh speak to any specific contributions by the aircraft carrier USS George W Bush George H.W.

Bush but obviously there's lots of Opera there's lots of capabilities in the Mediterranean region that could be brought to bear but uh we're working and this is a really important point we're working in lockstep with our Turkish counterparts here to make sure that what we're providing is what they need at the scale and the speed that they need and.

Not you know not trying to overwhelm their system with with unneeded material or unneeded capabilities so there's you know you talked about the bush but there's a lot of military capability on the continent under the European Commander's Authority that could be used but again we want to make sure that we're doing this uh in a appropriately.

Through Turkish counterparts on the visit by president can you speak on how Brazil can be a partner and want to drink a regular irregular migration specifically because Brazil has been around for Africans coming to the us through Mexico I I as I said I would expect president and President Biden to talk about the.

Challenges of irregular migration you saw the vice president just uh just this week holding a conference of uh of some of our neighbors uh about this call to action to try to get at the root causes and certainly we look and and would welcome uh president Lula's ideas and perspectives on how we can get at the.

Root causes of of all the migration in this hemisphere can we just go back for a moment so another aircraft of some sort Airship balloon something was shot down today who owns it what were the circumstances was the president directly involved in ordering this uh and is wreckage being recovered.

Okay so I'm gonna try remind me if I forget something yes the president absolutely was involved in this decision he ordered it uh at their recommendation of Pentagon leaders uh he wanted it taken down and they did that they did it using fighter aircraft to sign the U.S Northern command the Pentagon will have more to say about the details of this uh.

Later on this afternoon it's only just within the last hour uh we're calling this an object because that's the best description we have right now we do not know who owns it whether it's a whether it's state-owned or or corporate owned or privately owned we just don't know we don't we don't know so I said state-owned we don't know.

If it's state-owned um and we don't uh understand the full purpose we don't have any com we don't have any information that would confirm a stated purpose for this object we do expect to be able to recover the debris since it fell not only within our territorial space but on what we and what we believe is is Frozen.

Uh water so a recovery effort will be made um and uh we're hopeful that it'll be successful and then we can learn a little bit more about it appearance like the Chinese aircraft no it was it was much much smaller than the Spy balloon that we took down last Saturday um the way it was described to me was.

Roughly the size of a small car as opposed to a payload that was like two or three buses size right so much much smaller um uh and um and there and not of the same not uh no um no significant payload if you will and lastly is it now.

Unidentified aircraft or over U.S territory that it is likely the president will choose to shoot it down the president will always act in the best interest of our national security and in the Safety and Security of the American people Pentagon ordered this new object be taken down over Alaska the president.

Ordered it President ordered it so is it a fair takeaway then that the Pentagon regrets not taking down the first balloon before it crossed the entire U.S well I'm not going to speak for the Pentagon I can tell you that the president doesn't regret the the way that we handled the first balloon um that time we first of all.

Apples and oranges here in terms of size as I said this was size of a small car and it was over a very sparsely populated area but also more critically over it was over water water space when we ordered this down as we did the As we did the last one but completely different size um and um the debris field for this uh.

We expect to be but much much smaller than would have been for the other one that's difference one difference two we knew for a fact that the PRC balloon that we shot down last week was in fact a surveillance asset um and capable of surveillance over sensitive military sites and that it had self-propulsion and maneuver.

Capabilities there's no indication that this one did the other one the first one was able to maneuver and loiter Slow Down Speed up it was a very it was very purposeful that flight path with inside the inside the jet stream whether or not they they should have or could have shot it down over Alaska airspace so I would.

Refer you to it was two hours and hours of testimony yesterday on that on the communications though we still don't know and correct me if I'm wrong we don't know what what intelligence or bitions been collected or what devices they were targeting as I understand it so that being said how can the president say it.

Was not a major breach we don't know that what we do know is uh we knew this basic flight path of this thing and we were able to take steps at sensitive military sites that we believed would be all along the flight path uh to significantly curtail any intelligence.

Ability that the Chinese could get get from from the balloon certainly could tell anything that would be above and beyond you know what they normally try to collect through other means was this latest object that was shot down within the last hour was that detected based upon any information.

Gleaned from the monitoring of the last balloon over the last over the last week in terms of what you've learned about in that Chinese program that that informed the decision to shoot this this item down I think I'd I'd be careful saying that anything specific to to what we've learned from that last platform and you know we did we were able to collect some.

Information from it while I was in Flight that was another reason why uh we let it Traverse uh over land the way it did but I I would be uh I I I would not say that information gleaned from our surveillance of that surveillance balloon provided insights that that permitted this detection and track and as of this moment are you convinced that.

You shot down uh do you know what you shot down that wasn't just you know a harmless weather balloon uh that you know that that there was some motivation to Flying this over U.S airspace or is it is it true I think we're going to try to learn more I can tell you it was an object and it was at 40 000 feet and the the the the predominant.

Concerned by the president was a safety of flight issue at that altitude remember the one that was shot down last Saturday was at 65 plus thousand feet um so no threat to civilian aircraft this one at forty thousand feet could have posed a threat to civilian aircraft and it did not appear to have uh the maneuverable capability that the other.

One did so um uh you know virtually at the at the whim of the wind thank you so just thank you for being so to follow up on what you just said about civilian aircraft is that what you meant initially when you said there was a reasonable threat to shoot it down my exact words were reasonable.

A threat to the safety of Civilian flight okay does the U.S give any Credence to the Chinese argument that the balloon accidentally veered off course and ended up where it did the which you're talking about the one from last week yeah say that again or was it the U.S give any Credence to the.

Chinese argument that this thing accidentally veered off course and ended up where it did no so was it targeting specific places was it targeting military uh sites what we know is that the flight path executed took it over sensitive military sites what we also know is that it could maneuver that it had propulsion.

Capability and steerage capability um and could Slow Down Speed Up um and that it it was on a path to Transit over sensitive military sites thank you thanks uh Admiral Kirby on the latest object you said it did not appear to have the maneuverability capabilities that the Chinese spy balloon have did it have any maneuverability or was it.

Flying on its own at this time all I all I can tell you is it did not appear to have the ability to uh to independently maneuver we'll we'll uh we'll attempt recovery and we'll see what we can learn more from sorry there's one more on the Chinese five balloon we're reporting that the US is about to impose export controls on Chinese companies that are.

Believed to have been involved in that balloon surveillance program can you confirm that and say when the administration might impose those export controls I'm not in a position to confirm those reports right now um and I'd refer you to the Department of Treasury thank you Admiral um I believe you said this was shot down or.

At least it landed in the waters or the Frozen Waters off the coast of Alaska correct that is our initial assessment is the policy still considering the first one was shot down off the east coast and this high altitude object was shot down off the West Coast it's the policy at this point in time you could shoot it down if it's over.

Over a body of water I wouldn't derive from these two incidents some sort of policy that comes out of it uh the president will always act in the best interest of the American people and International Security um last week we were talking about a.

Surveillance asset um that was purposely flown over the continental United States in the case today we're talking about an object again we don't know a lot about it but but that at its altitude represented a potential threat to the safety of flying customers you know civil air traffic.

On your Broad and deep experience who do you think might own or have flown this thing in the air I have no idea you know you don't know if the administration reached out to the Chinese to see whether they will claim.

This new object I know no Outreach this afternoon to the Chinese government about this the state over the weekend or last few days since the first five balloon confirm that they think these Chinese spy balloons have gone over 40 countries considering that fact and this new development today what's next on a larger diplomatic front.

The U.S talking with allies about how the police disguise about how to bring this to the U.N to figure out what to do we are we are talking to um dozens of Nations who we know have have been overflown by Chinese surveillance uh balloons the part of this.

Program that the Chinese have invested in to share with them the context and information that we've learned by the forensics we've done since we came in office about this particular program and I would remind you that we we brief Congress in a classified setting back in August about this this is not something we haven't been trying to learn more.

About we've been aware of it and trying to glean more information from it and this we expect that the the recovery of the debris from the balloon we shot down on on Saturday last Saturday will help us gain even more information but we are in the active conversations with many of these countries who we know have been uh.

Overflown yeah we're specifically in Alaska was the high altitude object shot down so I'm gonna the Pentagon will be talking more about this a little bit later they'll probably have more detail for you but um the general area would be just off the very very North Eastern part of Alaska right near.

The Alaska Canada border so near the Arctic Ocean well yeah in fact that's where it went down on that on that on that Northern side of Alaska near the Canadian border uh on water that is frozen in the uh yes ever over land it was okay yeah and it was shot down within the last hour when did you said when did the fir when did the U.S first.

Uh get intelligence that it existed uh the knowledge about the uh the balloon and the track uh first came to our attention uh last evening okay what time thereabouts I I don't have an exact time on the clock for you it was last evening well it's have you ruled out I mean or not ruled out but you have not determined that it was surveillance in.

Nature correct we haven't ruled anything in or out um we we and that that's why we're calling this thing an object um and you just called it a balloon you misspoke there sorry it's not a yes this was an object let me just clarify I'm not classifying it as a balloon right now it's an object we're still trying to learn more from it.

That it landed on on what on water that is frozen could help us assist make it easier for us to try to recover some of the debris uh the U.S Northern command is examining what the possibilities for that are you said you have no knowledge of any Outreach to the Chinese yet uh from from the administration or their plans to reach out and ask whether I.

Know no plans to reach out to the Chinese specifically on this I want to stress again we don't know What entity owns this object there's no indication that it's from a nation or an institution or an individual we just don't know right we don't know who owns this object right um are you attracting any other.

Similar objects right now at this time I'm not aware of any other tracks and then also I know that you said that this was due to a civilian aircraft threat um but why not wait until it's over warmer water where you could ease more easily recover uh there wasn't heading over warmer water it was heading over the Arctic it's not very warm.

Thank you Karina thank you Admiral um one question on today's incident and then one on a separate subject if I may given how little was known about this object at the time that our forces shot it down is it safe to say that when the president ordered that it be shot down he did not know whether it was a manned or unmanned object we were able.

To get some fighter aircraft up and around it before the order to shoot it down and the Pilot's assessment was that this was not manned on a different subject after the State of the Union Address minutes after he finished delivering the State of the.

Union Address President Biden encountered in the halls of the Capitol Brittany alconus the wife of your Navy comrade Ridge alconus who as you know remains imprisoned in Japan and the president told Mrs alconus we're going to get this done I wonder if you can tell us if the alconus case figured in the conversation.

That the president had with the Japanese prime minister when he visited here last month and if you can flesh out the president's promise to Mrs alcoas I know generally you don't like to say a whole lot about these kinds of uh efforts but what can you tell us about what's being done on behalf of the tenant photos I would uh go back to what I said to you.

Last time James I mean the president's well aware of this case um and he's well aware of what the family's going through he's also well aware of concerns by the Japanese government with respect to their judicial system and and he's got the team working on this I'm not going to disclose personal conversations that the.

President had either with Mrs alconus or with uh prime minister kashida but he's well aware of it he's tracking it and so is the National Security team thank you Admiral over here I wanted to ask you two questions on the incident that happened in the past hour I wanted to know is there any line of communication that you can.

Describe that has been ongoing over the course of the past two weeks on the Diplomatic side of things I know that the defense secretary says that his com his a call to his counterpart was not returned from China but on the Diplomatic side of things are there lines of communication between the U.S and China right now well certainly look.

We have a we have an embassy in Beijing a diplomatic uh the discussions routinely happen with with Beijing so of course the Diplomatic channels remain open sadly uh the military ones uh uh do not appear to be open right now secretary Austin made a good faith effort to reach out to his counterpart and.

Um and uh and was rebuffed and that's unfortunate particularly when uh times at times like this you want to keep as as open as you can the lines of communication and the president's committed to that and then on Ukraine president zielinski was in the UK earlier this week and he received a promise from the UK government that the.

UK would train Ukrainian pilots on a NATO standard uh jet fighters uh can you tell me if you think that's a good idea is that something that the U.S is considering in terms of training Ukrainian pilots on NATO aircraft as well well if they're going to get Western aircraft uh then they're going to need to be trained on them will.

Happen they'll get Western aircraft yeah I that would be up to the Nations that that may be willing to provide aircraft um I've said it before probably tired of me hearing about hear me say it but these are all Sovereign decisions and uh if uh if a NATO Nation or even a non-nato nation wants to provide.

Capabilities like fighter aircraft to Ukraine that's certainly their decision to make and one would assume that if you're going to introduce a system into a into a military that they have no experience with that there's going to have to be some training that goes along with that we're doing it right now Fort Sill Oklahoma we've got Ukrainian.

Soldiers learning how to use a patriot battery um and outside of Ukraine we're helping train them on uh combined arms maneuver so it's not unusual to do that if an advanced capability is provided but that's going to be a national decision thank you Admiral um isn't there a concern that these.

Objects that the object and the balloon were both discovered when they're already flying over U.S airspace should they be detected before they enter the U.S I think we're going to continue to learn a lot about um how uh how these things are or can be detected in a better way you heard the north com Commander talk about.

Um certain gaps that he felt he had in his domain awareness so from this incident last week we will learn we'll certainly learn about the capabilities of that surveillance asset but we're also we also expect to learn more about our own processes and our own systems for detection and tracking um uh I I I don't want to get into.

Exactly how this one was detected but um I can assure you that that we're going to continue to try to improve our own knowledge base with respect to these systems on the object um can you say anything about the proximity of it and its flight path to the center of oil fields near Purdue Bay.

And was there any threat at all at any point to to that equipment in that region of Alaska I'm referring to the Pentagon for more detail about the track again this just all happened within the last hour so I don't know what the proximity was to to oil fields and your second question was it'd be difficult for me to point to a.

Threat or a specific concern such as oil fields when we don't really understand what this object was doing the Russians have said they're going to cut oil off output now what is the U.S response to that and will you reach out to OPEC to ask them to sort of compensate the difference so that the price of oil doesn't escalate at a time.

When you're just starting to see inflation once again Mr Putin's willing to weaponize energy um and uh this uh this move if it proves to be true it doesn't come as a big surprise as a reaction to the to the price cap and it just shows you the links of which she's willing to to use resources like energy.

As a again as a weapon with the United States will do have done continued to do is work with allies and partners to make sure we can better balance supply and demand and try to meet that need it's important we still believe that Mr Putin not be allowed to profiteer in an inappropriate way off of.

The oil he puts on the market so that he can then fund his his military in the field I don't have any diplomatic Outreach to speak to today we're going to continue to talk to allies and partners certainly OPEC follows in that category but I don't have any specific conversations.

Thank you John I have two questions uh China is claiming uh ownership of the balloon and the China said that they will take legal actions will you send the guru back to the China there are no plans to send the debris that we are recovering back to China we're going to pull it up off the bottom of the off the ocean.

Um and we're going to learn more about this capability Iran is building a drone Factory in Russia and the North Korea is receiving military drawn from Russia how do you build arms cooperation between North Korea Iran and Russia I can't confirm those specific reports Jenny but um I was up here not long ago talking about.

The the burgeoning defense relationship between Iran and Russia which is not only not good for the people of Ukraine it's not good for the people of the Middle East because it'll flow both ways and Russian capabilities could very well end up in Iranian hands um and I would say the same about North Korea we know I got up here and showed.

You pictures and we know that that they're providing ammunition To Russia artillery ammunition specifically and again that's not only not good for the people of Ukraine it's not good for for the the Korean Peninsula and the region there that that Russia and North Korea could be again developing a deeper defense relationship thanks John just a.

Few more on here you said it was discovered last night was applying consistently at an altitude of roughly 40 000 feet that entire time roughly yes were there any given that were there any sightings that you're aware of by Airmen civilian aircraft operation and can you just to nail it down can you tell us when the president gave the order Gabe.

The order to shoot it down this morning yeah again just keep following up on the same topic of the speed with which you guys would be which the president apparently decided to shoot it down having just discovered the first intelligence of the last night and by the morning he's saying shoot it.

Down um was there something specific more specific about the threat than just generally being in the airspace at which the the height at which the predominant reason the prominent reason driving the president's decision was the safety of flight issue but there had I mean that's a really big area up there it's not all.

That many planes it's not like it was in the middle of the Northeast Corridor or something is there no way they could have you guys could have said hey air you know airplanes like steer clear of this area until we know better what this thing is because we're you know I mean in other words was there some reason why president wasn't willing to take that.

Kind of a risk in in time though because it because uh um this thing did not appear to be self-maneuvering and therefore at the mercy of prevailing winds it was it was much less predictable um and um and so the president just wasn't willing to to take that risk thank you.

Um you mentioned that they were fighter aircraft who were able to determine that uh if likely was not command or those fighter aircraft able to determine anything else about it from up close that they wouldn't be able to find out otherwise they worked really hard to try to get as much information as they could about this object given its size.

Which was much smaller and um and the capabilities on the fighter aircraft themselves the speed at which they were flying it was difficult for the pilots to glean a whole lot of information not like we were able to glean off the other the balloon not the.

Other the balloon thank you Michael um because we and we also had you know several days to track that so uh there was a limit to how much they could Divine also it was detected at night and so the first engagement uh by fighter aircraft uh late last night was Again difficult for them you know it just it's just it was a small.

Object and these were fighter aircraft flying at pretty pretty high speed and um and the ability to get a lot of to glean a lot of information was limited which is why we they did another uh flight uh earlier this morning to see if we could get more I mean they did the best they could but again the speed and um and the uh the conditions up there as.

Well as the the size of the of the object made it a little bit more difficult to confirmed there were two there were there was a flight last night that's that's that's right and there was at least two that I know of again the Pentagon will probably have more detail but at least two there was a last night a couple of fighter aircraft uh.

Surveilled it tried to Gillian as much information as we could about what it was so we had a sense um and then another such flight uh today and of course that flight ended up you know in a shoot down just one more question um from the White House podium do you have.

A message for whoever is responsible for this aircraft or anyone who may have similar aircraft about uh what the White House I'd rather than sending some sort of message in that way I would just tell you that we're going to remain Vigilant about our airspace we're going to remain Vigilant about the.

Skies over the United States and as I said earlier um the the president takes his obligations to protect our national security interests and those of and the Safety and Security of the American people uh is Paramount and he's always going to make he's always going to decide and act in a way that is.

Commensurate with that Duty that's that's the real takeaway here the the US asked Brazil to block Iranian warships from docking in Rio and if so why we do not ask the Brazilians to to uh to to block that those ships are sanctioned ships specifically and we don't want to.

See them dock anywhere in this Hemisphere and we've been very clear about that but there was no specific ask made of Brazil that's a sovereign decision that president Lou has to make um I wanted to follow up with a question I asked you in September in light of the Chinese spot learn incident does this Administration consider Chinese land.

Purchases near U.S military bases a national security threat we uh uh are always concerned about potential foreign collection near or around our military sites and you're right last week is a good example of that we take that seriously whether that's terrestrial related uh or whether it's uh from uh from the air and I think I'll just leave.

It at that kind of always willing to work with Congress uh to address our national security interests and our and threats uh as best we can just real quick is there a timeline for Recovery of this object you'd have to talk to the Pentagon I don't know again.

Guys this just happened within the last now hour and a half and uh and they're still assessing uh where this thing landed and and the degree to which they can get to it on the Poland visit I know in the statement that you put out Karina it says that the person is going to meet uh with leaders of the Eastern flank NATO countries or any other European.

Leaders NATO leaders expected to join the president on this trip we're still putting the agenda together the predominant reason to meet with them the Bucharest nine as you call it is is to really talk to those Nations who are literally on the the the Eastern flank of the NATO alliance but I can't rule in a rule out that there may be additional.

Attendees or additional meetings that the president might have got it's bad thank you very much back to Lula we're gonna remember him um is is a is there going to be any commitment to the Amazon fund by the United States uh during this visit uh I think let's let's have the visit occur here shortly and uh we'll provide you a.

Readout I don't have anything specific on that uh the U.S professional presidential coordinator for Global and infrastructure energy is in Angola so he met with President Lorenzo can you elaborate a little more on this visit I don't have any information on that we'll.

Take the question and see if we can get you a better answer okay against Ukraine is concerned one year now this President believes that when Prime Minister Modi of India told President Putin to stop the war and this is not the way that this time that war should go like this and you think there is still time for Prime Minister Modi to.

Stop the war for convinced President Putin I think there's still time for Mr Putin to stop the war I think there's still time for Mr Putin to stop the war they can convince I'll let Mr I'll let the Prime Minister speak to whatever efforts he's willing to undertake.

Um I want to stress it again Goyle I mean certainly the United States would welcome any effort that could lead to an end of hostilities in Ukraine that are in keeping with President zielinski's objectives and his leadership his determination of what is acceptable to the Ukrainian people nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine so.

President Biden has said this gosh dozens of times we think this war could end today should end today the the the the single person responsible for what the Ukrainian people are going through is Vladimir Putin and he could stop it right now instead he's firing cruise missiles uh into energy and power infrastructure and trying to knock out.

The lights and knock out the heat so the Ukrainian people suffer even more than they already have he could end it right now um and since he's not willing to do that clearly we've got to make sure we can help the ukrainians succeed on the battlefield so that when President zielinski determines it's time to.

Negotiate and he's the only one that can make that determination he can do it with the strongest hand possible 1.4 billion people in India are waiting for President Biden to welcome when is the next tip I don't have any trouble other than the travel that Karine talked to today I don't have any trouble to announce thank you thanks guys.

Thanks Admiral okay now for the boring part of the briefing um we just have a few minutes guys so we don't have a lot of time so let me just go over the week ahead uh so later today as you all know the president will hold a bilateral meeting with President Lula of Brazil tomorrow the president and the first lady will welcome Governors and.

Their spouses for a black tie dinner at the White House the vice president and the second second gentleman will attend on Tuesday the president will deliver a keynote address during the National Association of counties at the wash at the Washington Hilton Hotel and we'll certainly have more to share on the week ahead in in a day or two and finally.

There is a Bittersweet day for us a Bittersweet moment for the communications and press teams and all of us here at the White House I've gotten to know Kate bettingfield as a colleague and a friend being in the trenches together and representing the president's agenda together I've actually known Kate since 2007 that's a.

Whole other story um but Kate has been fighting this fight on behalf of the president since long before for the campaign was launched going back to when she was his communications director as vice president she's been a trusted source of strategic advice and an unflinching voice for the president's message and.

Values playing an integral role in our successes these first two years and on the campaign she's also a pillar of this team which she helped build as the deputy campaign manager across the primary and general elections I understand that after a certain previous occupant of this White House whose name will be nameless but as.

You know who this person is uh he got angry and yelled and said quote Biden has a team of killers all I've got all I've got is a defense okay that was in the campaign that was the campaign Communications team started calling Kate and the captain the captain of the team killers that doesn't surprise me at all because if there's.

One thing Kate is she is a leader we're very sad to see her go but no one has earned some time with their children's spouse and dog more than Kate and I look forward to welcoming Ben labolt as you all know he has been announced to replace Kate as communications director back to the White House Ben has had a top role Communications role on the last.

Three successful Supreme Court nominations by democratic presidents we all got to work with him closely when he was the head of communications for the confirmation of of now Justice Jackson and we're glad that he is coming back to be a more permanent part of the team I've known Ben for many years including both Obama Biden campaigns and the Obama.

Biden White House where he worked on climate change and civil rights I was happy to reconnect with him when he took over Communications for nominations during the transition helping Advance the case for the most diverse cabinet in history and for a hosts of groundbreaking subcabinet positions as well he brings a cutting-edge.

Understanding of modern Communications to the table and I know he'll fight hard for the president's agenda in the upcoming year months and years I also knew I also know that Ben is making history as you know we believe here in the by and Harris White House that representation matters he will be the first openly gay.

Communications director which is very very important indeed okay with that we will have more to share as we get as we get closer to the day we just wanted to make sure that you all had the information that he will be traveling uh during the dates that I laid out um the February 20th 20th to the 22nd and we'll.

Certainly have more to share different topics last night reporting the former vice president of the special College Jackson Administration um that obviously raise as much privilege concerned with the president wave executive privilege uh for the former vice president's testimony.

For grand jury or it it needs exam I I'm just not gonna as you can imagine I'm gonna speak to this I'm just going to refer you to Department of Justice nobody has a question I can leave right now Colleen um thank you new Inspector General report accuses the architect of the Capitol Brett Blanton of a bunch of things widespread misuse of taxpayer.

Hunted government vehicles listening information to investigators impersonating law enforcement that's in addition to making the decision not to go to the Capitol on January 6 2021 which outraged Democrats and Republicans and the president is the only person who has the authority to fire him is that something he's considering so obviously.

We're taking this very seriously and we're seeing the report reports as well as you know and we take any advice that the members of Congress or any action that they want to to take very seriously as well I just don't have anything for you at this time to speak to on that particular matter okay Justin the house passed on a bipartisan basis overturning.

DC's New criminal code and also a law that would allow non-citizens to vote is that something that the president would sign into law or veto it so I would have to go back to the team and just get an answer for you on that I just don't I don't know that particular piece of legislation this is the first time I'm hearing about it so once I get back to.

The team we'll have an answer for you okay while this frequent's been underway the National Archives has released some of the communications between the president's personal attorneys and the agency one of them uh dated on November 8th has a communication between Gary Stern who was the general counsel of Nara and Bob Bauer the president's.

Attorney in which it references boxes in a Boston office says Pat it's just Pat Moore who's the president's personal lawyer Pat We would like to pick up the boxes that are in your Boston office and move them to the JFK Library any explanation as to what boxes we're doing in a Boston office and how this relates well as you just.

Mentioned it's it just broke or the report just came out while we were in the middle of a briefing so I can't speak to it from here because I just don't know what you're you're speaking to but I would refer you to the White House counsel's office to get more uh specifics or get you an answer there new to you the idea that I I'm I am I am.

Learning about this as you are as you were asking the question so I'm certainly not going to speak to it from here good Andrea on the president's meeting today with the governors said during this meeting that Republicans are trying to close off the possibility of cutting defense spending and that that leaves.

Only a very few options um you know what is the president's view on how to get to the two trillion dollars and cuts that he has outlined in the State of the Union Address what is the best way to get there and does he ruled out the possibility of cutting for instance defense spending so first and foremost so folks know March 9th the.

President's going to be putting out his budget we have asked the house in Congress a republican house who put out their budget as well a more robust right budget so we know exactly what it is that they are putting forth the cuts that they want to put forth and so that we can see not just us but the American people can see as you just mentioned the.

President said in his State of the Union Address that he was going to uh cut the deficit by two trillion dollars over a decade I'm not going to get ahead of what the president's going to actually the details or the specifics in his budget certainly once we put that out on March 9th you'll have you'll be able to peruse and see exactly what the.

President is laying out I'm just not going to to get ahead of that but I also want to add and I've said this many times before you've heard the president say this as well this is a president the first two years he was able to cut the deficit by 1.7 trillion dollars he takes his fiscal responsibility very seriously and he is going to continue to find ways.

To build an economy that doesn't leave anybody behind but also is fiscally responsible as I just mentioned okay did not believe that Republicans would ultimately make good their threat on the to hold the debt ceiling extension or expansion hostage what leads him to believe that I mean has he had subsequent conversations with.

Other Republicans um sensitive meeting with McCarthy and when when will he meet again so I don't have any conversations or meetings to preview for you at this time as you know the the uh the meeting that he had with speaker McCarthy not too long ago uh was respectful uh it was uh productive uh you've you saw us put a readout and you.

Heard from the speaker himself when he was out at the stakes after the meeting uh look it's pretty simple and it's pretty straightforward we believe that Congress has a constitutional duty to get this done to lift the debt ceiling we've been saying that and they should do it without conditions that hasn't changed they did it three times with the.

Last president you've heard me say the number 78 many times in this briefing room that's how many times that they have been able to get this done since 1960 that doesn't change it should be done in a bipartisan way and the president it will continue to call for that and that's what they've done it before and that's what he believes they.

Should be doing it again today and I'm wondering why oh who's the person is a president who's always optimistic he this is a president who believes in optimism as you know he says it many times when he speaks in front of the American people and so that is not surprising you've heard me say that about him and describing even his speech.

And for the State of the Union that you would hear some optimism so of course he's going to be optimistic about it good particularly given Lula's visit here this afternoon is there any kind of update on the possibility of expelling Bolson U.S does the president personally believe that he should be allowed to.

Remain here as I've said before we've never we had not received any uh any type of request in that in that vein I'm not going to get ahead of a meeting that's going to happen very very shortly you guys are all have to have to leave to uh uh for the pool spray that's going to happen in the Oval Office so I'm not going to get ahead the president Lula is.

Going to go to the sticks right after the bilat I believe and take take many questions from many of you so I'm certainly not going to get ahead of what's going to come up in that meeting or what what the agenda might be I think the Admiral did a good job laying out our expectations but I will let president Lula speak to that thank you.

Okay he's meeting with the governors uh today do you know whether how much the issue of covet and the expiration of the public health emergency order how much that came up whether the governors feel confident that the states are ready for that to happen so I can't speak to that I haven't downloaded with what came up in that meeting but what I can say is.

The president looked forward very much look forward to talking to the governors he's going to continue the conversation and continue to see them between today and tomorrow and they've been great partners with us with all of the uh the uh the different historical pieces of legislation that we have been able to get done and also that they're seeing.

The effects of in their own State okay I'll see you guys on Monday thank you everybody as well so

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