Dec 20, 2022

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre 12/19/22 Transcript

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre 12/19/22 Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsKarine Jean-Pierre White House Press Briefing TranscriptsPress Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre 12/19/22 Transcript

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre 12/19/22. Read the transcript here.

Transcribe Your Own Content

Try Rev and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.

Speaker 1 (00:00):

Oh wow.

Karine Jean-Pierre (00:07):

All right. I heard a, oh wow. Not you’ve been going to ask why. All right. Good afternoon everyone. I just have one thing at the top for all of you. First, I want to wish a happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate. This evening the President and the First Lady will host a Hanukkah reception at the White House following a blessing and the Menorah lighting. The President will address the rise of anti-Semitism in the US and around the world. And reiterate that we must continue to forcefully reject all form of hate, anti-Semitism and violence in our country.

The President and First Lady will also mark a new tradition, adding the first ever White House Menorah to the White House collection, marking the first Jewish artifact to be added to the White House archives, which was made by the White House carpentry shop. Last week, the president launched a new effort to develop a national strategy to counter the scourge of anti-Semitism. Earlier this year, he convened a first of its kind summit to combat hate field violence. The President has secured the largest increase in federal funding ever for the physical security and non-profits, including synagogue and Jewish community centers. With that, Darlene, you want to kick us off?

Darlene (01:38):

Yes, ma’am. Is there any comment that you’d like to offer on the fact that the January 6th committee has held its final public hearing, is wrapping up its work, is preparing to release the report on Wednesday?

Karine Jean-Pierre (01:52):

So first saying, you’ve heard me say this many times and the president as well. We’ve been very clear from the beginning that what we saw on January 6th was the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War, and the President has been very clear. Our democracy continues and remains under threat and we all have a part to protect it. The committee has been doing important bipartisan work to get to the truth of what happened on that very day, so we can make sure that that doesn’t happen again. So I’ll leave it there.

Darlene (02:27):

What about the committee’s referrals of four members of Congress to the House of Ethics Committee for ignoring subpoenas to participate in the investigation?

Karine Jean-Pierre (02:38):

So you know what, Darlene, that’s a very good question and what I would say to you is that you would have to ask those very Republicans, their own to speak for their own actions here and have them explain themselves. Look, I’m not going to get into the weeds of the investigation from here and the process, but again, you should have them explain themselves on this very issue.

Darlene (02:58):

And one last question. Republican led states have asked the Supreme Court to intervene and not allow Title 42 to expire on Wednesday as a different court has said, is there any reaction to that? And is the administration in some way hoping that the court will intervene and extend Title 42, to help you all out of this situation that is brewing at the border?

Karine Jean-Pierre (03:24):

So look, I’m not going to get into any legal determinations, or speculations, or get ahead of the process here. DOJ is clearly leading this investigation. What I can tell you is what the Homeland Security has been doing. As you all know, Secretary Mayorkas was at the border just last week. He talked about how they are surging resources to the border and we have additional robust planning underway. But we need Congress to give us the funds we’ve requested to do this in a safe, orderly and humane way.

And here’s the thing, if Republican Congress are serious about protecting the border, if they are serious about securing the border, if they are serious about the challenges that we’re currently seeing, that they should be able to get involved here and make sure that the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security have the resources they need, they are going to need to do their jobs.

I know you guys are seeing some charts behind me, but again, just listing out, this is what is needed, this is what we’re asking, that $3. 5 billion of funding requests that we’re asking of Congress. And also this is what we have been doing to surge resources at the border, to address when Title 42 has to be lifted on Wednesday.

Speaker 2 (04:48):

To follow on that, the mayor of El Paso said over the weekend that the influx of migrants on Wednesday will be incredible. He said it will be huge and that they’re not prepared to deal with it with the current resources that they have. So you have the chart up here, but can you walk us through what the plan is to help that city?

Karine Jean-Pierre (05:05):

Absolutely. So let me just give you what the DHS is doing. And this includes making sure that we give assistance to those very cities like El Paso. For example, DHS has deployed additional agents and EL processing capabilities to El Paso, and 23,000 agents are working to secure the southern border. Let’s not forget those 23,000 agents, that is a historic number, and that’s because of the work that this president has done. And so that’s the most ever that we’ve ever seen doing this work. And it’s in addition to nearly 1000 border patrol processing coordinators.

DHS has also put in place technologies like linear ground detection systems and automated surveillance towers, and is increasing security at ports of entry. They’re also adding 10 soft sighted CBP holding facilities. But again, we need Congress to provide us the additional resources we’ve requested to do this in a safe, orderly and humane way. If they are serious, Republicans in Congress are serious about securing the border, then they should assist in making sure the men and women at the DHS have what they need to get this done.

Speaker 2 (06:16):

You mentioned surging resources. I had asked you in September specifically about El Paso and you had said at the time at DHS, the administration was surging resources to the region, working to quickly decompress the area. Has that surge of resources been maintained for the last several months? And is that sustainable? Now, if you’re talking about another surge of resources, is that on top of what had already been done in September, and how long can you keep doing a surge like that?

Karine Jean-Pierre (06:46):

So a couple of things. I mean, that’s one of the reasons we’re asking for additional funding, that $3.5 billion. And look, that scale up air and ground transportation capabilities to move migrants from processing, to less crowded border patrol sectors, and quickly remove them if they don’t have a legal basis to remain as set up additional CBP funding holding facilities, pardon me, and speed up the processing time, so individuals can have their asylum claims heard faster. Hirer more than 300 additional agents to join our force of 23,000 agents working to secure the border.

Secure additional technologies and equipment like automated processing systems, law enforcement radios, upgraded surveillance and inspection technologies, and much more. Increased support for border, cities and towns like El Paso. Look, this is why we’re asking Congress for this additional funding. Again, if Republicans in Congress are serious, if they want to help the men and women at the DHS, they certainly will assist and get this funding to us, to get this additional support and resources to the men and women at DHS.

Speaker 3 (07:57):

Karine, is the Biden administration looking at sending migrants to Mexico via the expedited removal process if Title 42 ends?

Karine Jean-Pierre (08:06):

So look, I know there’ve been a lot of rumors, a lot of speculations. I’m not going to go off of everything. I wouldn’t go off of everything that you’re hearing quite yet, but we will have some more to share tomorrow, and there will be a call to, on these very varying issues.

Speaker 3 (08:23):

Oh, thank you. And there’s estimates of 50,000 migrants in Mexico waiting to cross if Title 42 ends, is that accurate? And would that overwhelm the border patrol?

Karine Jean-Pierre (08:33):

So look, I don’t have a number for you at this time. What I can say is that we know smugglers will try to spread misinformation to take advantage of these vulnerable migrants. But I want to be very clear here. The fact is that the removal of Title 42 does not mean the border is open. Anyone who suggests otherwise is simply doing the work of these smugglers who, again, are spreading misinformation and which is very dangerous. When Title 42 goes away as we have to do, because of a court order, which is on Wednesday as all of you know, we will go back to Title 8, which allows a process to make sure that people can make their asylum claims heard. Those who do not have a legal basis to remain will be quickly removed. And so we will continue to fully enforce our immigration laws in a fair, orderly, and humane manner. But again, we need Congress to deliver on the funding that we’re requesting from them. Okay.

Speaker 3 (09:31):

Thank you.

Speaker 4 (09:32):

The president has been very unequivocal about criticism toward his predecessor related to January 6th and in the wake of January 6th. But does he agree with the statement from Congresswoman Cheney, today, that performed president is unfit to hold any offers in this country?

Karine Jean-Pierre (09:46):

So look, as it relates to the January 6th committee, we’ve been pretty clear on here, right from here, we’re going to be very, very careful to not to politicize this process at all. The committee’s work has been substantive and based on facts. Some of the actions that they are taking involve potential criminal investigation as you know. So I just want to be very careful and refer you to the Department of Justice on those, because this administration and the DOJ conduct criminal investigation independently, free of any political interference, or any interference at all.

But what I can say and what you’ve heard from this president these past two years, is he’s going to consistently speak out about this, about what happened on that day, and we’ll continue to speak out about defending our democracy against ongoing threats. And he’s not going to shy away from that, but we’re just not going to comment any further. As you know, this could be… There is a potential criminal investigation.

Speaker 4 (10:45):

Okay. And the [inaudible 00:10:46] immigration. A couple months ago, Jake Sullivan was in this room, was talking about the intensive diplomatic effort that’s underway, particularly with three countries that had started to kind of drive the makeup of the composition of some of the migrants, where we have little or no diplomatic relations

Speaker 4 (11:00):

… relations with those countries which complicate things on the asylum side, have there been any breakthroughs or any agreements on those particular diplomatic efforts particularly moving up to Wednesday?

Karine Jean-Pierre (11:10):

Look, as you know, the president of Ecuador was here. That wasn’t the main topic clearly. One of the topics was migration, and I can go more into that if you will. Look, we have some good examples of how diplomacy has worked with the Venezuela Enforcement Initiative. We announced earlier this year to address the record number of Venezuelan nationals arriving at the border. Look, that initiative has resulted a drastic 90% drop in the number of Venezuelan nationals arriving at the border. Average daily encounters are down from 1,100 a day to 200. So look, those diplomatic conversations have helped. You know that we’ve held a leadership forum in LA not too long ago, a couple months ago where we talked about what’s going on with the Western Hemisphere with those leaders and came up with a plan on how to deal with that. That’s because of this president’s leadership. We’ll continue to have those conversations. I don’t have anything to share with you at this time, but we’ll have more in the upcoming days. Ed?

Ed O’Keefe (12:26):

Two things on the same topic. You’re asking for $3.2 billion roughly from Congress to help pay for all these new or ongoing plans across the border. Let’s say that money comes in the omnibus this week. What’s the plan after that to work with Congress to address this issue?

Karine Jean-Pierre (12:40):

Like beyond-

Ed O’Keefe (12:42):


Karine Jean-Pierre (12:42):

… beyond? Look, Ed, we, from day one, have asked Congress to help us with this issue by putting forward their immigration reform bill. That’s on day one that the president had requested that, had asked that. That’s to deal with modernizing this broken immigration system that we currently have, and also to really protect DACA recipients and do so much more. We have reached out, we’ve done outreach to Congress, we have asked them, and by acting, again, putting forth this piece of legislation.

Ed O’Keefe (13:16):

Which has resulted in virtually no change in immigration policy with Democrats in charge.

Karine Jean-Pierre (13:21):

Well, I-

Ed O’Keefe (13:21):

How’s it going to get easier when Republicans are in charge?

Karine Jean-Pierre (13:23):

Look, again, we’ve asked for the $3.5 billion. We’re going to continue to ask Congress, especially congressional Republicans, to help us with what’s going at the border if they are indeed serious about doing that. But look, even without their assistant, without many Republicans being involved here, congressional Republicans, we have secured more resources for the border than any president who preceded him, who preceded this current president. He has the most agents ever, as I said, the 23,000 agents. Let’s not forget, he’s taking historic action to seize record levels of fentanyl from entering our country and taking thousands of smugglers off the streets. That’s without many congressional Republicans assisting here. So the president has made this a priority. Now, as Title 42 is going to be lifted on Wednesday due to a court order, we’ve put forth a $3.5 billion of funding requests from Congress. If they are serious about this, if congressional Republicans are serious about this, they would take this up instead of doing political stunts.

Ed O’Keefe (14:35):

This is going to be big news, and it is big news across the Western Hemisphere, because migrants aren’t just coming from the Northern Triangle anymore. They’re coming from Chile, from Peru, from Ecuador, whose president is here today, Venezuela, Colombia, of course. What is the White House’s message to somebody who may see this somewhere in the Western Hemisphere and think, “After Wednesday, it’s going to be easier to get into the United States”?

Karine Jean-Pierre (14:55):

Look, first I want to say the president of Ecuador has been a very good partner to us on this very issue, so I want to make that very, very clear. Again, I stated this to Steve, and I’ll say this again, the fact that the removal of Title 42 is happening in just a day or two doesn’t mean that the border is open. It just doesn’t mean that. When Title 42 goes away, we will go back to Title 8, which allows for a process to make sure that people can have their own asylum claims heard, and those who do not have a legal basis to remain will be quickly removed. That doesn’t change the process that we have been moving forward with since day one of this administration. Look, we are surging assistance to the border, as I’ve laid out very clearly, as Secretary Mayorkas has the past week or so. So we’re going to continue to do that. But again-

Ed O’Keefe (15:46):

In plain English to migrants who might be thinking about it, what should they do after Wednesday?

Karine Jean-Pierre (15:49):

I just laid that really clear. It would be wrong to think that the border is open. It is not open. I just want to be very, very clear about that.

Ed O’Keefe (16:00):

We’re meeting here just minutes after, as Darlene pointed out, they referred the presumed next speaker of the House to the Ethics Committee for defying a congressional subpoena. Not really been here before. Can the president foresee working with a House speaker who defied a subpoena from his colleagues?

Karine Jean-Pierre (16:17):

A couple of things. I do want to go back for a second to your immigration question. One of the reasons that I want to be very clear to folks that the border is not open and we will remove using Title 8 is because, by not being very clear on that, we are doing the work of the smugglers who are going to put forth misinformation. So we want to be very clear on that piece.

Look, as you know, the president when he was president, when he was vice president, when he was a Senator, he has always been willing to work across the aisle to get things done on behalf of the American people. He said this right after the midterms. We were very clear that we want to continue to work in a bipartisan way. We’ve gotten more than 200 bills signed by this president that were bipartisan bills. And let’s not forget the historic pieces of legislation.

Just on Friday, the president was in Delaware talking about the PACT Act, a bipartisan effort that’s going to help millions of veterans across the country. Let’s not forget, not too long ago, just last week, we were on the South Lawn celebrating gay marriage. That was also a bipartisan piece of legislation. More than 5,000 Americans were standing outside on the lawn. So we have had those successes. We’ve had the CHIPS and Science Act, and we have had others, the bipartisan infrastructure legislation. So it can be done. As it relates to McCarthy or any other Republican, to your question about their role in any of this, I would ask them. This is a question for them to answer about their own actions and for them to explain. Peter?

Peter Alexander (17:58):

When is the president going to assign the NDAA?

Karine Jean-Pierre (18:01):

He’s going to sign that later this week.

Peter Alexander (18:03):

Sign it later this week. You can’t identify for us the date?

Karine Jean-Pierre (18:06):

Don’t have a date for you, but [inaudible 00:18:07].

Peter Alexander (18:07):

Can I ask you specifically, then, the president’s thinking on the fact that this NDAA obviously includes the termination of the military vaccination program?

Karine Jean-Pierre (18:16):

Look, every NDAA, and I’ve said this a couple times in the past 10 days, has some provisions we support and some we do not. Clearly, the president was opposed to rolling back the vaccine mandate, but we saw that Republicans in Congress decided that they’d rather fight against the health and wellbeing of the troops than protecting them. Making sure our troops are prepared and ready for service is a priority for this president. The vaccination requirement for COVID does just that. While the president opposes this repeal, but with more than 98% of our active duty troops vaccinated, that means that the overwhelmingly bulk of our force is in compliance with the requirement and remains protected against COVID because we’ve seen more than 98% of them are fully vaccinated.

Peter Alexander (19:06):

To be very clear, would the president welcome those who left the service or refused to get vaccinated if they now say, “I want to serve the United States military”?

Karine Jean-Pierre (19:15):

Look, that is something that the Department of Defense has to decide on specific service members. What I can tell you-

Peter Alexander (19:21):

[inaudible 00:19:22].

Karine Jean-Pierre (19:22):

Look, again, they have a process on how that runs at the Department of Defense. We will let them run that process. What we can say is that the president, as I mentioned, he’s going to sign the NDAA. He was very clear, I was very clear from here about how he opposed the fact that congressional Republicans removed a vaccination mandate from that piece of legislation.

Peter Alexander (19:46):

Let me ask you one more question just to punctuate what we’ve been saying about what happened on the Hill today. Obviously, we’re getting an executive summary, getting new details about all of this, and I know you don’t want to interfere in any form with what the Department of Justice is going to decide. But the fundamental motivation for the president running for office was, as he described it, this battle for the soul of the nation. About 964 people, as I have counted so far, I think is the latest number, have been charged for their role as rioters. But we heard from Jamie Raskin today, “Ours is not a system of government where foot soldiers go to jail and masterminds and ringleaders get a free pass.” If no, quote, masterminds or ring leaders are charged, how does the president view the status of this battle for the soul of the nation?

Karine Jean-Pierre (20:31):

I’m certainly not going to get ahead of any legal outcome that may come of this.

Peter Alexander (20:35):

What is the status of the battle of the soul of America?

Karine Jean-Pierre (20:37):

Look, the president, I said this just moments ago, he believes that our democracy is still under attack and that we have to do everything that we can to protect it. He gave two very, very important speeches on our democracy and where we stand today. Again, he believes we have to do everything to protect it. Not only does he believe that, but the majority of Americans who exercised their right to vote during the midterms believe the same as well. Again, we have to do everything that we can to protect it. That’s what the president believes. He’s going to continue to speak to this. What we saw on January 6th, as the president has said, it was an attack on our democracy. It was the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.

Speaker 5 (21:22):

Just a question on immigration. The president tasked the vice president with studying and working on the root causes of some of these issues. I’m wondering if there’s any update from this side of the White House on what she’s been doing and what she will continue to do as we’re expecting an influx at the border after Wednesday.

Karine Jean-Pierre (21:41):

Well, as you know, the president appreciates the partnership that he has with the vice president. You’re right. That has been her charge to work in a diplomatic way on finding the root causes of migration. I don’t have anything to lay out specifically on what that work looks like. But again, we appreciate

Karine Jean-Pierre (22:00):

… appreciate her partnership and I would probably refer you to her office on anything specific on the work that she’s doing.

Speaker 6 (22:07):

Okay. And then on another topic, the president said when he was in Nantucket that he will be getting his physical before the end of the year. I’m wondering if you have any update on when that would be and if those results will be made public before whatever announcement he might make about his future political plans.

Karine Jean-Pierre (22:24):

So not going to get ahead of his future political plans. Not going to do that from here. As you know, I’m covered by the Hatch Act. So we respect the rule of law from here, so not going to even touch that. But what I can say, and I’ve said this before, the president is in good health and maintains an active lifestyle as his doctors have said, and as a number of independent experts also told the New York Times and others, just to highlight that for a second. He will have a physical in the upcoming months and the results will be released like they were most recently in the same way and we will be transparent.

Speaker 6 (22:59):

Is it still the case as he told reporters in Nantucket that he’ll be getting it before the end of the year or has that timeline changed?

Karine Jean-Pierre (23:05):

I just don’t have a specific timeline. All I can tell you is that in the incoming months, he will have a physical and we will certainly release those results in a transparent way just like we did last year. That hasn’t changed. Go ahead.

Speaker 7 (23:19):

I know you’ve been asked about this before, but just yesterday Representative Cuellar told Face the Nation that he wants to see President Biden go to the border. He said it doesn’t have to be for a photo op, but a leader has to show images of being up there in front. So does the president have any plans to go to the border? Is now a good time to go?

Karine Jean-Pierre (23:38):

Like you said, I’ve addressed this before. Look, the president’s focus right now is to come up with solutions. Its focus on making sure that we have the resources to manage the challenges that we’re seeing at the border. And right now, as you know, we have a budget request in front of Congress. And again, if congressional Republicans are serious about dealing with the challenges that we’re seeing at the border, they will assist.

Speaker 7 (24:02):

But given what we’re seeing at the border-

Karine Jean-Pierre (24:02):

I just answered the question. I just said we’ve litigated that back and forth here for the past two weeks or so. The president’s focus right now is to make sure that we have the resources to manage what’s happening right now. Go ahead.

Speaker 8 (24:15):

Does the president or excuse me, does the White House plan to do anything to tweak the rules in the Inflation Reduction Act to accommodate France and Germany? Both countries have asked the US to grant Europe the same exemptions, excuse me, for nations with free trade deals for green subsidies.

Karine Jean-Pierre (24:31):

Don’t have anything here to share than what I’ve said probably about a month or so ago. We are talking to our European allies about the exceptions or the issues that they may have. Just don’t have anything to share at this time.

Speaker 8 (24:47):

France and Germany sort of re-upped those requests within the last two days. I’m just wondering, has the White House responded yet either public or privately to those?

Karine Jean-Pierre (24:55):

I don’t have anything to share with you on a response, but it is a conversations that we have been having with our European counterparts. Go ahead.

Speaker 9 (25:04):

Thank you, Karine. El Paso’s Democratic mayor has declared a state of emergency and he said that he would only do that when he felt he could no longer keep his community or the asylum seekers safe. He’s saying that that time is now ahead of Title 42 expiring. What is the White House response to that?

Karine Jean-Pierre (25:23):

So look, we have from day one, President Biden has taken steps to reduce disorderly migration while expanding legal pathways for orderly migration. We are in constant communication with the mayor of El Paso. And look, I’ve talked about the Venezuelan enforcement initiative that’s helped drop the migration, which is, as you know, an initiative, a drastic 90% drop. And we’re going to continue to do that work.

Look, we’re surging resources to the border. We’re going to continue to do the work that is needed. We saw from the graphs what that looked like, what the resources were. We’re going to ask for the additional funding, the 3.5 billion additional funding requests from Congress. And we want to make sure that we’re really truly addressing this challenge. Again, the 23,000 agents that we’re currently seeing at the border, that is because of the work that this president has done and this is a historic number of agents that we see at the border. Again, we’re going to continue to ask for additional funding from Congress to assist us in dealing with this challenge at this time.

Speaker 9 (26:41):

The resources though that you’d laid out at the top, specifically in El Paso, there’s video that was just released by one Republican member of Congress to show that it’s really not making a difference. There’s one for patrol facility on Friday. He says there are 4,600 migrants in that facility. Its capacity is 1,040 and we’re still, Title 42 is still in place with, they’re at four times their capacity right now. So is the view that this is working, that those resources are working that you guys have set or from the work of this president to… Is that sufficient? Is it working?

Karine Jean-Pierre (27:22):

We’re asking for $3.5 billion in additional funding to help us with the challenges that we’re seeing. So if congressional Republicans are serious about this, serious about dealing with the challenges that we’re currently seeing, then they would assist in helping making sure the men and the women of the DHS has the resources that they need.

In the meantime, Department of Homeland Security is surging resources to the border and have additional robust planning efforts underway. And so again, we’re asking for additional funding. We are surging resources, but if they truly, truly want to assist instead of doing political ploys like they have been for the past several months, they will adhere to our funding request as we’ve put forward.

Speaker 9 (28:10):

A little bit to Ed’s question though, this push from the podium to get Republicans to send more resources to the border, a lot of them say that they hesitate to throw more money at a problem, the Homeland Security Secretary saying that the border is secure, and some of the people who’d have to vote on that bill also don’t have a lot of details on what’s in it and where that money goes.

But all that aside, if you’re saying that Republicans aren’t doing the work to get this done and then you have someone like Joe Manchin saying, “Well, the president has the ability to ask for an extension, he should be asking for an extension because we’re at this point where you’ve got a deadline and a crisis.” Is that within the president’s authority to do that?

Karine Jean-Pierre (28:56):

So look, we remained under a court order to lift Title 42. That is a court order-

Speaker 9 (29:01):

Aren’t you guys driving it, though?

Karine Jean-Pierre (29:02):

That is a court order that is telling us to lift Title 42 and we’re going to comply because we follow the rule of law.

Speaker 9 (29:09):

But the administrations sought to lift it.

Karine Jean-Pierre (29:12):

But it is a court order.

Speaker 9 (29:14):

Started by you guys.

Karine Jean-Pierre (29:15):

It was a court order that has been provided to us and so now we have to comply and that is we have to comply by December 21st. It is a law that has been-

Speaker 9 (29:25):

So are you saying you don’t support lifting Title 42?

Karine Jean-Pierre (29:29):

What I’m saying, that it is a court order that has been presented to us that we are going to comply with. So you’ve asked a couple of questions and I’m going to answer them if you give me a second.

So in the funding request, the 3.5 billion, I’ve already listed them out, happy to do them again. You scale up. We want to scale up air and ground transportation capabilities to move migrants to processing to less crowded border patrol sectors and quickly remove them if they don’t have a legal basis to remain; set up an additional CBP holding facilities and speed up the processing time so individuals can have their asylum claims heard faster; hire more than 300 additional agents to join our force of 23,000 agents working to secure the border. 23,000, that is historic. We’ve not seen that before.

And again, that is because of the work that this president has done, giving historic fundings to the Department of Homeland Security; secure additional technologies and equipment like automated processing system, law enforcement radios, upgraded surveillance and inspection technologies and more; increased support for border cities and towns like El Paso. So the $3.5 billion, there is a plan for it. There is a way forward in getting the resources that the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security need to do the work at the border.

But, what we have been hearing from Republicans and seeing from Republicans in Congress is political ploys. They’re not assisting, they’re not offering any assistance. Many of them are not. And so we are asking right now if they are serious about this, they are serious about dealing with the challenges, then they would adhere to our funding request. And I want to be really careful. Again, look, Title 42 is going to be lifted. Yes it will. But we are going to move to Title 8. The border is not open and so I want to be very clear about that because we are doing the smuggler’s job if we spread misinformation. And so again, just want to be very clear about that and so I’m going to move on. Go ahead.

Speaker 10 (31:30):

Karine, with regards to Manchin, just to put a fine point on it, because he did go on to say that I think the administration is doing that or will do that with regards to an extension. There are no plans to ask for any sort of an extension. Is that what you’re saying?

Karine Jean-Pierre (31:41):

What I can tell you is we are required by the court order to lift Title 42. That’s December 21st and we’re going to comply with that order. Any other additional questions about any legal actions, I would refer you to Department of Justice.

Speaker 10 (31:55):

And you’ve said that the border is not open. You’ve said that a couple times. Will the president deliver that message in person next month in Mexico at the North American Leader Summit?

Karine Jean-Pierre (32:04):

Again, I don’t even have a trip to announce at this time today. All I can tell you is that we are in plans and conversations. So don’t even have anything to confirm to speak to a hypothetical. Go ahead.

Speaker 11 (32:15):

President Putin traveled to Belarus today. Does the administration have any concerns that there might be additional collaboration between the two countries? Any concern that Belarus may be providing additional military support to Russia?

Karine Jean-Pierre (32:30):

So we have long been concerned by Belarus’s role in Russia’s aggression. Belarus has enabled Russia’s war against Ukraine, providing support for Russia and allowing Belarusian territory to be used as a staging ground for Russian forces. Look, we continue to monitor Russia’s force posture closely. That’s something that we have been doing and will continue to do, including in Belarus and remain in close contact with Ukraine as they valiantly defend themselves against Russia

Karine Jean-Pierre (33:00):

… aggression. So we’re continuing to do that.

Speaker 12 (33:02):

China acknowledged their first two COVID-19 deaths since they changed their strict pandemic control policies. Does the administration have any concerns that this change could affect the global supply chain, the global economy, and has the US been in touch with China about it?

Karine Jean-Pierre (33:22):

Don’t have anything to read out on any conversation with China. Clearly, all of these things, as it relates to the economy, we keep a close eye on. But as you know, we are just not going to comment on China’s policy. What we’re focusing on right now is making sure that Americans across the country get the new vaccine. We know the tools that work to protect us from COVID and so we’re going to continue to speak directly to the American people on what those tools are. And again, we encourage Americans to get that new vaccine, especially ahead of the holidays. Yeah. Go ahead. I’ll come to the back in a sec. Go ahead.

Speaker 13 (33:57):

You mentioned that the President has been in touch with the Mayor of El Paso, but has he talked-

Karine Jean-Pierre (34:01):

No. I said we’ve been in touch with the mayor, our administration.

Speaker 13 (34:03):

Have you been in touch with any of the border state governors?

Karine Jean-Pierre (34:07):

I don’t have any calls or readouts to provide on any particular conversations, but we have an intergovernmental affairs shop. And clearly, they tend to be in close touch with mayors and governors across the country, just don’t have anything to provide for you at this time. Hunter, go ahead.

Speaker 14 (34:30):

I’m interested, how important does the President think it is to get the Electoral Count Reform Act passed in these final days of Democrats ruling the House? What message would it send to pass that ahead of this second anniversary of January 6th?

Karine Jean-Pierre (34:42):

So I think we’ve been very clear on that particular piece of legislations. We support it. We continue to believe this is a priority and has seen bipartisan support, as you know, in both the House and the Senate. And we hope Congress acts and sends this to the President’s desk.

Speaker 16 (35:04):

Thanks, Karine. Oh, you want to go first? I’ll go next.

Speaker 15 (35:06):

Thank you so much. Karine, I have a question. So follow up on the COVID in China, Dr. Fauci has said that he worries about the new relaxing of the zero COVID policy going to result in a new wave of infection in China and result in new variants. You see United States considering any precautions, that the travelers from China had to produce a negative result test in the coming month?

Karine Jean-Pierre (35:38):

The way that we see it is it’s important that countries focus on getting people vaccinated and making testing and treatment easily accessible. And so we continue to carefully monitor the state of the pandemic globally so that we can continue to stay ahead of it. We’ve always heard us say that we want to be one foot ahead, and so don’t have anything more to share on any specific policy as it relates to China.

Speaker 15 (36:04):

Second question. So on the same day when Twitter banned several journalists’ accounts last week, and one of the Chinese human rights activists who’s based in Seattle, her Twitter accounts were also banned and without any warning. So does the White House worry about this trend to reporters and activists, that voice is being affected on the internet?

Karine Jean-Pierre (36:28):

Say that one more time, the-

Speaker 15 (36:29):

Yes. So her name is Won Chipon. She’s a Chinese human rights activist based in Seattle. And the same day of a lot of [inaudible 00:36:39], including VOA’s Steve Herman, was banned, her account was permanently suspended without a warning. So the reporters and human rights activists, their voices being affected on the internet, is that a trend that the White House is worrying about?

Karine Jean-Pierre (36:54):

So social media companies, they make their own independent decisions about content moderation, but our support for free speech and free press is well-documented. Just Twitter, as you know, is a private company and they will make their own decision on content moderation, but our support, again, for free press and free speech has been well-documented. And so I’ll leave it there.

Speaker 16 (37:20):

Karine, could I go?

Karine Jean-Pierre (37:22):

Oh, go ahead.

Speaker 16 (37:22):

Thanks. I wanted to ask about, there’s about 100 nominees that are under consideration in the Senate that have not yet been confirmed this year, what’s the plan going into next Congress if you can’t get them all confirmed this week or [inaudible 00:37:37] we nominate them all?

Karine Jean-Pierre (37:38):

So look, clearly, our nominee nominees are important, the renomination process is clearly important, but I know that people have questions on this. I’ve gotten it a couple of times, but we just don’t have more information to share on what we will do, but right now, we do not have any updates to preview at this time. But clearly, I get the importance of the question, just don’t have anything to preview on what it’s going to look like in the next Congress.

Speaker 16 (38:09):

On COVID, you all relaunched the program where people could order tests online last week through USPS. Can you provide an update on how that’s going and when is the plan to close that? How long do people have to order?

Karine Jean-Pierre (38:21):

That’s a good question. Let me check in with Dr. Jah’s team. I know that it’s been very successful. I think there was a pretty high number of folks requesting for testing. I don’t want to get ahead without checking in with him on the exact number, but it has been very successful, but I don’t have a timeline on how long it’s going to be made available to Americans.

Speaker 16 (38:45):


Speaker 17 (38:47):

The latest Twitter files show that the intelligence community was actively involved in discrediting the Hunter Biden laptop story. Does it bother the President and those at the White House that a government agency like the FBI was involved in suppressing a legitimate news story?

Karine Jean-Pierre (39:02):

Again, I’m just going to refer you to the FBI. I’m not going to comment from here about that. Go ahead.

Speaker 18 (39:08):

Thank you so much. On migration Title 42, in June this year, the President was in Los Angeles and, with other leaders, they signed a long declaration on migration. So can you maybe update us on what happened since? And is the administration generally happy with what other countries in the hemisphere are doing to tackle this issue?

Karine Jean-Pierre (39:30):

So look, we had a very good, as you know, a very good meeting with those 19 or 20 countries from the Western Hemisphere and, as you said, laid out, Ariel, a declaration. Look, the President has had a very good relationship. President of Ecuador was here. They’ve been a very good partner on dealing with the migration issue. We’ve talked about the Venezuela initiative. So there has been some progress on how we’re moving forward with the Western Hemisphere and the migration issue that we’re dealing with, but look, we’re going to continue to have that diplomacy and that is something … The reason that we have seen the success, reason that we’ve seen that 90% drop in Venezuelans coming into the country is because of the President’s leadership on this.

Speaker 19 (40:22):

Hey, Karine. Jamie Raskin, when he was doing the criminal referral in the House today, he brought up the Insurrection Act and its prohibition on people being disqualified from future office. My question is, does the White House think that that would apply to the presidency and are there any concerns about having prosecutors make a decision that, in theory, could have a-

Karine Jean-Pierre (40:41):

Could you say that again?

Speaker 19 (40:43):

Yeah. We’re asking, did the criminal referral of Trump and others, and he brought up the Insurrection Act, and it bars people from holding future professional office, any major office in the US, does that apply to the presidency and are there concerns about prosecutors as they look at that case, making a decision that could affect [inaudible 00:41:01]?

Karine Jean-Pierre (41:01):

Look, I would refer you back to the committee. That is not something that I’m going to comment from here about. Look, we’re trying to be very careful here. A potential criminal investigation that’s going to go to the Department of Justice that they are going to have to make a decision on, we are just not going to get involved in any way, even with that question that you’re asking me, just going to be very, very, very, very careful here. Don’t want to interfere in any political way and we’re just not going to do that in this administration, but I would refer you, with that specific question that the congressman made, the statement that he made, I would refer you to him.

Speaker 19 (41:43):

In that case, on immigration with a quick one on that, it sounds like you’re teasing some policy announcements for tomorrow. Would that be an executive order and are you looking at expanding the people able to apply for asylum online and fly into the country?

Karine Jean-Pierre (41:56):

Just not going to get ahead of any potential announcement. I would just say stay tuned and we’ll likely have a call on it.

Speaker 19 (42:03):

Karine, Texas Governor Abbott said that, if Title 42 expires, that the border would be, quote, total chaos. Is that a correct assessment or what’s your response to that?

Karine Jean-Pierre (42:11):

Here, what I can say, and I’ve answered this question many which ways from your colleagues today, what I can say is that Department of Homeland Security is surging resources at the border at this time, and we have additional robust planning efforts underway, and we need Congress to give us the funds we’ve requested to do this in a safe, orderly, and humane way.

And again, I’ll say this one last time. If Republicans in Congress were serious about the border security and actually addressing this challenge, they would ensure that the men and women at the Department of Homeland Security have the resources that they need to do their jobs. And so that’s what we’re going to continue to ask for and request. But again, we’re doing the work. The President has been doing the work at the border since day one by first putting forth the immigration reform legislation and also securing historic funding to Department of Homeland Security, that 23,000 agents, that matter. That is something we have not seen under any other president. Now, we’re asking Congressional Republicans to assist and do the same.

Speaker 20 (43:23):

Thank you.

Speaker 21 (43:23):

What about the Biden Administration funding anti [inaudible 00:43:26]?

Speaker 22 (43:25):

Thank you, Karine.

Karine Jean-Pierre (43:25):

Thanks, guys.

Transcribe Your Own Content

Try Rev and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.