Feb 13, 2023

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre 2/10/23 Transcript

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre 2/10/23 Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsKarine Jean-Pierre White House Press Briefing TranscriptsPress Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre 2/10/23 Transcript

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre 2/10/23. Read the transcript here.

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Karine Jean-Pierre (00:22):

[inaudible 00:00:13] Good afternoon everybody.

Speaker 1 (00:22):

[inaudible 00:00:25].

Karine Jean-Pierre (00:27):

From February 20th to the 22nd, President Biden will travel to Poland. He will meet with President Duda of Poland to discuss 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 NSE is going to come up and share some words and take some questions.

John Kirby (01:26):


Karine Jean-Pierre (01:27):


John Kirby (01:28):

Afternoon everybody. Just a couple things here at the top. I think President Lula from Brazil is here today. He’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 ally as 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, 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 Advisor, 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 8th 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 and 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 before we jump into questions, and this is just an update on US efforts to respond and to help provide assistance to the people of Turkey and Syria in the wake of those devastating earthquakes. We are ramping up our assistance to these earthquakes that have now killed more than 20,000 people in Turkey 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 in lifesaving assistance to provide shelter to the displaced as well as food, medicine and other desperately needed aid. In Turkey aid, US AID 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 Adiyaman, one of the hardest hit areas inside the country.

These teams have nearly 200 personnel combined between them, specialized equipment and canine support dogs as well. They have been able to expand their operational reach with the support of US military Black Hawk helicopters, and because of the extensive damage to roads and to bridges, ground transportation I think you can understand, is pretty challenging. They’ll continue to run airlift operations from [inaudible 00:04:50], 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 Adiyaman.

In Syria, our humanitarian partners continue to urgently scale up response efforts to reach people in need. That work will include or has included chartered flights that are transporting essential medical supplies and teams distributing hot meals and other food. As of this morning, the 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 Bab al-Hawa crossing, totaling now 20 trucks of critical medicines, food and water to people in need over the last two days.

To underscore that US 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. US humanitarian assistance is delivered directly to the Syrian people no matter where they live, and 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.

Speaker 2 (06:26):

Thanks. Thank you. Thank you. So, why the president decided to go to Poland? What message he wants to deliver and is there any chance that he would visit Ukraine during his visit to Poland? And I have also one on President Lula’s visit. President Lula 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?

John Kirby (07:03):

Okay, so there’s a lot there. So, look on the trip, I don’t have any other additional stops to speak to. Karine announced the purpose of the trip, and that’s to go to Poland and in Karine’s opening statement, I think she answered your main question, which is, “What does he want to talk about?” He wants to talk about the importance of the international communities 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 to resolve, but the international community to 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 it’s going to continue to stand by them.

On your question about the President Duda and his peace overtures or ideas, is that what-

Speaker 2 (08:08):

President Lula-

John Kirby (08:09):

Oh, Lula, I’m sorry.

Speaker 2 (08:10):

Yeah, he said that he wants to create a group of countries to negotiate peace in Ukraine, and those group, according to him, would include China, India, maybe some other countries.

John Kirby (08:23):

Well, I certainly would refer to President Lula to speak to his ideas. I think, 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 into Ukraine, knocking out 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 Zelensky 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 knows he’s going to need in that negotiation. So, it’s really up to President Zelensky 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.”

Speaker 3 (09:28):

On the trip to Poland, can 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, the US-Polish Alliance?

John Kirby (09:44):

I won’t get ahead of the President’s remarks, certainly I’m not going to do that. 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 or not just across Europe. 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.

Speaker 3 (10:20):

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 to send this balloon over US soil, what would that tell you if that were true, about his grip on his own government? Is it possible that it suggests a kind of power breakdown? Is it surprising to the US?

John Kirby (10:42):

We certainly can’t confirm these reports about President Xi’s personal knowledge of that, and I would refer you to the PRC to speak to their own leadership issues and information sharing. What matters to us is that this was a violation of our sovereign airspace, and clearly, with intent. Now, whose intent, I don’t think we have a perfect picture of that right now. Clearly, without question, 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.

Speaker 3 (11:24):

What our reporting is that US officials briefing lawmakers this week told lawmakers that this is the US intelligence community’s-

John Kirby (11:32):

I’m not going to speak to intelligence assessments from the podium.

Karine Jean-Pierre (11:34):

We got to keep going, [inaudible 00:11:36].

Jonathan (11:36):

Thank you Karine. Admiral, there’s been warnings from the Ukrainians as well as intelligence agencies in both Europe and 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?

John Kirby (11:55):

What we see, Jonathan, is that the Russians continue to conduct offensive operations in the Donbas area. The fighting around back moot 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, resupply, re-arm, contribute to his manpower in what could be a renew to 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 form, but we are anticipating that, and frankly, so are the Ukrainians. 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 in 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.

Speaker 4 (13:16):

Thank you, Karine. Hi John. I have more follow ups on the Lula visit, as well as the assistance US providing to Turkey. But really briefly, can you speak to rumors that there is another Chinese balloon above Alaska or any other parts of US territory that the US shot down?

John Kirby (13:33):

So I can confirm that the Department of Defense was tracking a high altitude object over Alaska airspace in the last 24 hours out. The object was flying at an altitude of 40,000 feet, and posed a reasonable threat to the safety of civilian flight. Out of an abundance of caution, and at the recommendation of the Pentagon President Biden ordered the military to down the object, and they did, and it came in inside our territorial waters. Those waters right now are frozen, but inside territorial airspace and over territorial waters. Fighter aircraft assigned to US Northern Command took down the object within the last hour. Okay?

Speaker 4 (14:18):

And can I just follow up John, and thank you for that. That’s really helpful. Can you give more details on the support that US is providing to Turkey? Specifically, we understand that the USS George HW Bush is on standby. Can you update us on whether there’s been any communications with Ankara on whether the ship will be any part of humanitarian efforts?

John Kirby (14:38):

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 under the command of US Naval Forces Europe. The commander of US European Command has designated the commander of US Naval Forces Europe as in charge of the operational coordination for military assets and he’s doing that. I cannot speak to any specific contributions by the aircraft carrier, USS George HW Bush, but obviously, there’s lots of capabilities in the Mediterranean region that could be brought to bear. But, 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 trying to overwhelm their system with unneeded material or unneeded capabilities. So, you talked about the Bush, but there’s a lot of military capability on the continent under the European Commanders’ authority that could be used. But again, we want to make sure that we’re doing this in a appropriately through Turkish counterparts.

Speaker 4 (15:52):

[inaudible 00:15:53] Just really briefly on the visit by President Lula, can you speak about how-

Speaker 5 (15:56):

I know, I’m going to come around.

Speaker 6 (15:58):

[inaudible 00:15:59] She’s still asking questions.

Speaker 8 (16:02):

I hear you, I hear you. [inaudible 00:16:05] but I do. Go ahead. [inaudible 00:16:06]

Speaker 9 (16:05):

Just the last question, can you speak on how Brazil can be a partner in monitoring irregular irregular migration specifically because Brazil has been a route for Africans coming to the US through Mexico.

John Kirby (16:17):

As I said, I would expect President Lula and President Biden to talk about the challenges of irregular migration. You saw the Vice President just this week holding a conference of some of our neighbors about this call to action to try to get at their root causes, and certainly we look and would welcome President Lula’s ideas and perspectives on how we can get at the root causes of all the migration in this hemisphere.

Speaker 8 (16:46):

[inaudible 00:16:45] yours.

Speaker 10 (16:47):

Thank you. When I hear news, I just get very excited.

Speaker 8 (16:50):

Yeah. [inaudible 00:16:52].

John Kirby (16:52):

Fancy that.

Speaker 10 (16:54):

Yes. So 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, and is wreckage being recovered or-

John Kirby (17:14):

[inaudible 00:17:15] Kate? So I’m going to try.

Speaker 10 (17:16):


John Kirby (17:16):

Remind me if I forget something.

Speaker 10 (17:17):


John Kirby (17:17):

Yes, the president absolutely was involved in this decision. He ordered it at the recommendation of Pentagon leaders. He wanted it taken down and they did that. They did it using fighter aircraft assigned at US Northern Command. The Pentagon will have more to say about the details of this later on this afternoon. It’s only just within the last hour.

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 state owned or corporate owned or privately owned. We just don’t know. [inaudible 00:17:54] We don’t know, as I said, state owned. We don’t know if it’s state owned, and we don’t understand the full purpose. 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 believe is frozen water. So a recovery effort will be made and we’re hopeful that it’ll be successful, and then we can learn a little bit more about it.

Speaker 10 (18:30):

Was it appearance like the Chinese aircraft or [inaudible 00:18:34]

John Kirby (18:33):

No, it was much, much smaller than the spy balloon that we took down last Saturday. 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. [inaudible 00:18:52] So much, much smaller and not of the same, not… No significant payload, if you will.

Speaker 10 (19:04):

Okay. And lastly, is it now the policy of the United States that if unidentified aircraft are over US territory that it is likely the president will choose to shoot it down?

John Kirby (19:14):

The president will always act in the best interest of our national security and in the safety and security of the American people.

Speaker 8 (19:20):

Jackie, we’re going to take [inaudible 00:19:22] go ahead [inaudible 00:19:22].

Speaker 11 (19:23):

So the Pentagon ordered this new object be taken down over Alaska.

John Kirby (19:26):

The president ordered it.

Speaker 11 (19:27):

The 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 us?

John Kirby (19:36):

Well, I’m not going to speak for the Pentagon. I can tell you that the president doesn’t regret the way that we handled the first balloon that time. We, first of all, apples and oranges here in terms of size. As I said, this was the size of a small car and it was over a very sparsely populated area, but also more critically it was over water, water space when we ordered this down as we did the last one, but of completely different size and the debris field for this, we expect to be but much, much smaller than would’ve 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 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 very purposeful, that flight path, within inside the jet stream.

Speaker 11 (20:43):

That would suggest that maybe [inaudible 00:20:46] taken it out over Alaska too, though. Well…

John Kirby (20:48):

Look, the Pentagon’s already spoken to this question about whether or not they should have or could have shot it down over Alaska airspace. So I would refer you to there was two hours and hours of testimony yesterday on that.

Speaker 11 (20:58):

On the communications, though we still don’t know, and correct me if I’m wrong, we don’t know what intelligence or communications could have 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 if we don’t know that?

John Kirby (21:15):

What we do know, is we knew the basic flight path of this thing and we were able to take steps at sensitive military sites that we believed would be along the flight path to significantly curtail any intelligence ability that the Chinese could get from the balloon. Certainly curtail anything that would be above and beyond what they normally try to collect through other means.

Speaker 8 (21:47):

Go ahead, Zeke, and then we’ll get around.

Speaker 12 (21:49):

Thank you, John. 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 last week in terms of what you’ve learned about that Chinese program that informed the decision to shoot this item down?

John Kirby (22:07):

I think I’d be careful saying that anything specific to what we’ve learned from that last platform and we were able to collect some information from it while it was in flight. That was another reason why we let it traverse over land the way it did. But I would not say that information gleaned from our surveillance of that surveillance balloon provided insights that permitted this detection and track.

Speaker 12 (22:41):

And as of this moment, are you convinced that you shot down, do you know what you shot down, that it wasn’t just a harmless weather balloon, that there was some motivation flying this over us airspace or is it truly not-

John Kirby (22:54):

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 predominant concern by the president was a safety of flight issue at that altitude. Remember the one that we shot down last Saturday was at 65-plus thousand feet, so no threat to civilian aircraft. This one at 40,000 feet could have posed a threat to civilian aircraft and it did not appear to have the maneuverable capability that the other one did, so virtually at the whim of the wind.

Speaker 13 (23:27):

Thank you Karine So just, thank you [inaudible 00:23:29] 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? Or was there a [inaudible 00:23:39]

John Kirby (23:39):

Yes, my exact words were “reasonable threat” to the safety of civilian flight.

Speaker 13 (23:45):

Okay. And given what you said earlier about intent with regard to the Chinese spy balloon, does the US give any credence to the Chinese argument that the balloon accidentally veered off course and ended up where it did?

John Kirby (24:04):

You’re talking about the one from last week?

Speaker 13 (24:06):

The spy balloon, yeah.

John Kirby (24:06):

Yeah. Say that again?

Speaker 13 (24:09):

Does the US give any credence to the Chinese argument that this thing accidentally veered off course and ended up where it did?

John Kirby (24:17):


Speaker 13 (24:18):

So was it targeting specific places? Was it targeting military sites?

John Kirby (24:25):

What we know is that the flight path it executed took it over sensitive military sites. What we also know is that it could maneuver, that it had propulsion capability and steerage capability, and could slow down, speed up and that it was on a path to transit over sensitive military sites.

Speaker 13 (24:50):

Thank you.

Speaker 14 (24:51):

Thanks, Admiral Kirby, on the latest object, you said it did not appear to have the maneuverability capabilities that the Chinese spy balloon had. Did it have any maneuverability or was it flying on its own?

John Kirby (25:04):

At this time, all I can tell you is it did not appear to have the ability to independently maneuver. We’ll attempt recovery and we’ll see what we can learn more from.

Speaker 14 (25:15):

And then just, sorry, just one more. On the Chinese spy 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?

John Kirby (25:32):

I’m not in a position to confirm those reports right now and I’d refer you to the Department of Treasury.

Speaker 15 (25:37):

Thank you, Admiral. 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?

John Kirby (25:45):

That is our initial assessment.

Speaker 15 (25:47):

So 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, is the policy at this point in time, you could shoot it down if it’s over a body of water?

John Kirby (26:03):

I wouldn’t derive from these two incidents some sort of policy that comes out of it. The president will always act in the best interest of the American people and international security. Last week we were talking about a surveillance asset 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 that at its altitude represented a potential threat to the safety of flying customers, civil air traffic.

Speaker 15 (26:43):

Based on your broad and deep experience, who do you think might own or have flown this thing in the air?

John Kirby (26:51):

I have no idea.

Speaker 8 (26:57):

Go ahead, Mary.

Speaker 16 (26:57):

I know you don’t know who owns it and who’s flying it, but has anyone in the administration reached out to the Chinese to see whether they will claim this new object?

John Kirby (27:02):

I know of no outreach this afternoon to the Chinese government about this.

Speaker 16 (27:07):

The State Department over the weekend or last few days [inaudible 00:27:11] since the first spy balloon confirmed that they think that 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 US talking with allies about how to police the skies, about how to bring this to the UN to figure out what to do?

John Kirby (27:30):

We are talking to dozens of nations who we know have been overflown by Chinese surveillance balloons. 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 briefed 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 recovery of the debris from the balloon we shut down 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 overflown.

Speaker 8 (28:20):

[inaudible 00:28:21].

Speaker 17 (28:21):

Yeah. Where specifically in Alaska was the high altitude object shut down?

John Kirby (28:26):

So the Pentagon will be talking more about this a little bit later. They’ll probably have more detail for you, but the general area would be just off the very, very northeastern part of Alaska, right near the Alaska Canada border.

Speaker 17 (28:47):

So near the Arctic Ocean?

John Kirby (28:49):

Well, yeah. In fact that’s where it went down on that northern side of Alaska near the Canadian border on water that is frozen in the Arctic.

Speaker 17 (28:59):

It was never over land? It was never over Alaska?

John Kirby (29:03):

No it was, it was.

Speaker 17 (29:03):


John Kirby (29:03):


Speaker 17 (29:06):

And it was shot down within the last hour. When did the US first get intelligence that it existed?

John Kirby (29:14):

The knowledge about the balloon in the track first came to our attention last evening.

Speaker 17 (29:21):

Okay, what time thereabouts?

John Kirby (29:23):

I don’t have an exact time on the clock for you. It was last evening.

Speaker 17 (29:26):

Well, have you ruled out, I mean, or not ruled out, but you have not determined that it was surveillance in nature, correct, you’ve not-

John Kirby (29:32):

We haven’t ruled anything in or out and that’s why we’re calling this thing an “object.”

Speaker 17 (29:38):

You just called it a balloon. You misspoke there.

John Kirby (29:40):

I’m sorry. It’s not a… Yes. I’m sorry you guys have-

Speaker 17 (29:43):

But you can’t say it’s a balloon even?

John Kirby (29:43):

You guys have me with balloon on the brain right now. [inaudible 00:29:46] It 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 what on water that is frozen, could help us assist, make it easier for us to try to recover some of the debris. The US Northern Command is examining what the possibilities for that are.

Speaker 17 (30:09):

And finally, you’ve said you have no knowledge of any outreach to the Chinese yet from the administration. Are there plans to reach out and ask whether they [inaudible 00:30:18]

John Kirby (30:18):

I know of 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.

Speaker 17 (30:32):

Clearly though it’s a foreign an entity that’s… right?

John Kirby (30:35):

We don’t know who owns this object.

Speaker 8 (30:39):

We’ll keep going, yeah.

Speaker 18 (30:40):

Thank you. Thanks are you tracking any other similar objects right now at this time?

John Kirby (30:45):

I’m not aware of any other tracks.

Speaker 18 (30:47):

And then also, I know that you said that this was due to a civilian aircraft threat, but why not wait till it’s over warmer water where you could more easily recover-

John Kirby (30:57):

It wasn’t heading over warmer water. It was heading over the Arctic. It’s not very warm.

Speaker 18 (31:01):

Go ahead, James.

Speaker 19 (31:03):

Thank you, Karine, and thank you Admiral. 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?

John Kirby (31:28):

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. Okay.

James (31:44):

Okay, 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 Alkonis, the wife of your Navy comrade Ridge Alkonis, who as you know remains imprisoned

James (32:00):

… Imprisoned in Japan, and the President told Mrs. Alkonis, “We’re going to get this done.” I wonder if you can tell us if the Alkonis 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. Alkonis. I know, generally, you don’t like to say a whole lot about these kinds of efforts, but what can you tell us about what’s being done on behalf of Lieutenant Alkonis?

John Kirby (32:26):

I would go back to what I said to you last time, James. The President’s well aware of this case, 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 he’s got the team working on this. I’m not going to disclose personal conversations that the President had either with Mrs. Alkonis or with Prime Minister Kishida, but he’s well aware of it. He’s tracking it, and so is the national security team.

Moderator (32:56):

[inaudible 00:32:57]

Speaker 20 (32:57):

Thank you, Corine. Admiral, over here. Wanted to ask you two questions-

John Kirby (33:03):

I need to watch for her hands.

Speaker 20 (33:04):

… one on the shootdown that you just describe and the other one on Ukraine. 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 call to his counterpart was not returned from China. But on the diplomatic side of things, are there lines of communication between the US and China right now?

John Kirby (33:32):

Well, certainly. Look, we have an embassy in Beijing. Diplomatic discussions routinely happen with Beijing. Of course, the diplomatic channels remain open. Sadly, the military ones do not appear to be open right now. Secretary Austin made a good faith effort to reach out to his counterpart and was rebuffed. That’s unfortunate particularly when, at times like this, you want to keep as open as you can the lines of communication, and the President’s committed to that.

Speaker 20 (34:04):

And then on Ukraine, President Zelenskyy was in the UK earlier this week, and he received a promise from the UK government that the UK would train Ukrainian pilots on NATO standard jet fighters. Can you tell me if you think that’s a good idea? Is that something that the US is considering in terms of training Ukrainian pilots on NATO aircraft as well?

John Kirby (34:28):

Well, if they’re going to get western aircraft, then they’re going to need to be trained on them.

Speaker 20 (34:33):

Does that mean that will happen, they’ll get western aircraft?

John Kirby (34:36):

That would be up to the nations that may be willing to provide aircraft. I’ve said it before, probably tired of hearing me say it, but these are all sovereign decisions. 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. One would assume that if you’re going to introduce a system into a military that they have no experience with, that there’s going to have to be some training that goes a along with that. We’re doing it right now. Fort Sill, Oklahoma, we’ve got Ukrainian soldiers learning how to use a Patriot battery. Outside of Ukraine, we’re helping train them on combined arms maneuver. It’s not unusual to do that if an advanced capability is provided, but that’s going to be a national decision.

Moderator (35:27):

[inaudible 00:35:28]

Speaker 21 (35:28):

Thank you, Admiral. Thank you, Corine. Isn’t there a concern that the object and the balloon were both discovered when they’re already flying over US airspace? Shouldn’t they be detected before they enter the US?

John Kirby (35:42):

I think we’re going to continue to learn a lot about how these things are or can be detected in a better way. You heard the NORTHCOM commander talk about certain gaps that he felt he had in his domain awareness. From this incident last week, we’ll certainly learn about the capabilities of that surveillance asset, but we also expect to learn more about our own processes and our own systems for detection and tracking. I don’t want to get into exactly how this one was detected, but I can assure you that we’re going to continue to try to improve our own knowledge base with respect to these systems.

Speaker 22 (36:28):

Just one more quick question on the object. Can you say anything about the proximity of it and its flight path to the sensitive oil fields near Prudhoe Bay? Was there any threat at all at any point to that equipment in that region of Alaska?

John Kirby (36:45):

I’d refer you to the Pentagon for more detail about the track. Again, this just all happened within the last hour or so. I don’t know what the proximity was to oil fields.

Your second question was?

Speaker 22 (36:55):

Oh, it was just about the sensitivity, the oil fields basically.

John Kirby (36:58):

Well, again, I mean we just don’t know what this object 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.

Speaker 22 (37:11):

I just have one more quick question on the Russian, completely different topic. The Russians have said they’re going to cut oil output now. What is the US response to that? Will you reach out to OPEC to ask them to compensate the difference so that the price of oil doesn’t escalate at a time when you’re just starting to see inflation or-

John Kirby (37:31):

Once again, Mr. Putin’s willing to weaponize energy. This move, if it proves to be true, it doesn’t come as a big surprise as a reaction to the price cap. It just shows you the length of which he’s willing to use resources like energy, again, as a weapon. What the United States will do, have done, continue 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 military in the field.

Speaker 22 (38:16):

Would you [inaudible 00:38:16]?

John Kirby (38:18):

I don’t have any diplomatic outreach to speak to today. We’re going to continue to talk to allies and partners. Certainly, OPEC falls in that category, but I don’t have any specific conversations to talk about.

Moderator (38:27):

Jenny, go ahead and [inaudible 00:38:29].

Jenny (38:29):

Thank you, Corine. Thank you, John. I have two questions. China is claiming ownership of the balloon. China said that they will take legal actions. Will you send the back to China?

John Kirby (38:45):

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 ocean, and we’re going to learn more about this capability.

Jenny (38:59):

I have a second question, Iran is building a drone factory in Russia, and North Korea is receiving military drone from Russia. How do you build arms cooperation between North Korea, Iran, and Russia?

John Kirby (39:17):

I can’t confirm those specific reports, Jenny, but I was up here not long ago talking about 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. Russian capabilities could very well end up in Iranian hands. I would say the same about North Korea. I got up here and showed you pictures. We know that they’re providing ammunition to Russia, artillery ammunition specifically. Again, that’s not only good for the people of Ukraine, it’s not good for the Korean peninsula and the region there that Russia and North Korea could be, again, developing a deeper defense relationship.

Moderator (39:59):

[inaudible 00:40:00]

Speaker 23 (40:00):

Thanks. Just a few more on the… You said it was discovered last night. Was it flying consistently in an altitude of roughly 40,000 feet that entire time?

John Kirby (40:08):

Roughly, yes.

Speaker 23 (40:10):

Given that, were there any sightings that you were aware of by airmen, civilian aircraft operators?

John Kirby (40:15):

No, sir.

Speaker 23 (40:16):

Can you just nail it down? Can you tell us when the President gave the order to shoot?

John Kirby (40:20):

Gave the order to shoot it down this morning.

Speaker 24 (40:25):

Again, just keep following up on this same topic, the speed with which the President apparently decided to shoot it down having just discovered the first intelligence the last night, and by the morning, he’s saying shoot it down, was there something more specific about the threat than just generally being in the airspace at which the height at which-

John Kirby (40:54):

The predominant reason driving President’s decision was the safety of flight issue.

Speaker 24 (40:58):

I understand it was, but that’s a really big area up there, not all that many planes. It’s not like it was in the middle of the Northeast corridor or something. Is there no way in which that you guys could have said, “Hey, airplanes, steer clear of this area until we know better what this thing is?” In other words, was there some reason why-

John Kirby (41:20):

President wasn’t willing to take that kind of a risk in time because this thing did not appear to be self-maneuvering and, therefore, at the mercy of prevailing winds. It was much less predictable. The President just wasn’t willing to take that risk.

Speaker 25 (41:41):

Thank you. You mentioned that there were fighter aircraft who were able to determine that, likely, it was not manned. Were those fighter aircraft able to determine anything else about it from up close that they wouldn’t be able to find out otherwise?

John Kirby (41:56):

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 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 balloon… Thank you, Michael. We also had several days to track that. There was a limit to how much they could divine. Also, it was detected at night, and so the first engagement by fighter aircraft late last night was, again, difficult for them. It was a small object and these are fighter aircraft flying at pretty high speed and the ability to glean a lot of information was limited, which is why they did another flight earlier this morning to see if we could get more. They did the best they could but, again, the speed and the conditions up there as well as the size of the object made it a little bit more difficult.

Speaker 25 (43:11):

Just to confirm there was a flight last night to do some surveillance?

John Kirby (43:13):

Yes, that’s right. There was at least two that I know of. Again, the Pentagon have probably more detail, but at least two. There was, last night, a couple of fighter aircraft surveilled that tried to glean as much information as we could about what it was, so we had a sense, and then another such flight today. Of course, that flight ended up in a shootdown.

Speaker 25 (43:33):

Sorry, just one more question.

Moderator (43:36):

We’re running out of time.

Speaker 25 (43:37):

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 what the White House is going to do?

John Kirby (43:47):

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. As I said earlier, the President takes his obligations to protect our national security interest, and the safety and security of the American people is paramount. He’s always going to decide and act in a way that is commensurate with that duty. The real takeaway here.

Moderator (44:24):

Way in the back.

Speaker 26 (44:25):

Did the US asked Brazil to block Iranian warships from docking in Rio? If so, why?

John Kirby (44:32):

We did not ask the Brazilians to block that. Those ships are sanctioned ships, specifically, and we don’t want to see them dock anywhere in this hemisphere. We’ve been very clear about that, but there was no specific ask made of Brazil. That’s a sovereign decision that President Lula has to make.

Speaker 26 (44:54):

I wanted to follow up a question I asked you in September, in light of the Chinese balloon incident, does this administration consider Chinese land purchases near US military bases a national security threat?

John Kirby (45:09):

We are always concerned about potential foreign collection near or around our military sites. You’re right, last week is a good example of that. We take that seriously, whether that’s terrestrial related or whether it’s from the air. I think I’ll just leave it at that.

Speaker 26 (45:32):

Would you be working perhaps with Congress to put in place legislation to prevent that kind of ownership?

John Kirby (45:36):

We are always willing to work with Congress to address our national security interests and threats as best we can.

Moderator (45:42):

[inaudible 00:45:43]

Speaker 27 (45:47):

Thank you, Corine. Admiral, just real quick, is there a timeline for recovery of this object?

John Kirby (45:52):

You’d have to talk to the Pentagon. I don’t know. Again, guys, this just happened within the last hour-and-a-half, and they’re still assessing where this thing landed, and the degree to which they can get to it.

Speaker 27 (46:02):

On the Poland visit, I know in the statement that you put out Karine says that the President is going to meet with leaders of the Eastern flank NATO countries. Are any other European leaders, NATO leaders expected to join the President on this trip.

John Kirby (46:16):

We’re still putting the agenda together. The predominant reason to meet with them the Bucharest Nine, as you call it, is to really talk to those nations who are literally on the eastern flank of the NATO alliance. But I can’t rule in or rule out that there may be additional attendees or additional meetings that the President might have.

Moderator (46:31):

[inaudible 00:46:32]

Speaker 28 (46:33):

Thank you very much. Over here. Back to Lula, if you can remember him, is there is going to be any commitment to the Amazon Fund by the United States during this visit?

John Kirby (46:48):

Let’s have the visit occur here shortly, and we’ll provide you a readout. I don’t have anything specific on that. Okay.

Moderator (46:55):

[inaudible 00:46:55]

Speaker 29 (46:55):

Thank you. John, the US Special Presidential Coordinator for Global and Infrastructure and Energy is in Angola. He met with President Lourenço. Can you elaborate a little more on this visit?

John Kirby (47:09):

I don’t have any information on that. We’ll take the question, and see if we can get you a better answer.

Moderator (47:12):

[inaudible 00:47:13]

Speaker 30 (47:14):

Just a quick one on the timeline. Was the President briefed on the object last night when the track first came to the administration’s attention?

John Kirby (47:21):

Yes, he was. He was soon as the Pentagon had enough information provided, they did that.

Moderator (47:25):

Last question.

Speaker 31 (47:29):

Thank you, madam. Thank you, John. As far as Russia’s war against Ukraine is concerned one year now, did President believe that when Prime Minister Modi of India told President Putin to stop the war and this is not the way at this time that war should go like this? You think there’s still time for Prime Minister Modi to stop the war or convince President Putin?

John Kirby (47:57):

I think there’s still time for Mr. Putin to stop

Admiral (48:00):

… stop the war. I think there’s still time for Mr. Putin to stop the war.

Goyle (48:06):

You think Mr. [inaudible 00:48:07] can convince?

Admiral (48:08):

I’ll let Miss, I’ll let the Prime Minister speak to whatever efforts he’s willing to undertake. 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 Zelensky’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 and we think this war could end today, should end today.

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 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. 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 Zelensky 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.

Goyle (49:20):

And finally, sir, 1.4 billion people in India are waiting for President Biden to welcome. When is the next trip?

Admiral (49:27):

I don’t have any travel other than the travel that Karine talked to you today. I don’t have any travel to announce.

Speaker 33 (49:31):

Thanks, Admiral.

Admiral (49:32):

Thanks guys.

Karine Jean-Pierre (49:36):

Okay, now for the boring part of the briefing. 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. 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 gentleman will attend. On Tuesday, the president will deliver a keynote address during the National Association of Counties at the Washington Hilton Hotel. And we’ll certainly have more to share on the week ahead 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 Bedingfield 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 nother story. But Kate has been fighting this fight on behalf of the president since long before 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, he got angry and yelled and said quote, “Biden has a team of killers. All I’ve got is a defense.”

Okay. That was in the campaign. That was the campaign communications team started calling Kate, 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, spouse and dog more than Kate. And I look forward to welcoming Ben Lebolt. 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 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 hosts of groundbreaking sub cabinet 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 know that Ben is making history. As you know, we believe here in the Biden-Harris White House that representation matters. He will be the first openly gay communications director, which is very, very important indeed. Okay. With that, Zeke?

Zeke (53:05):

Could you just the list on the president’s trip. Poland, didn’t say where he was going in Poland, can you let us have cities?

Karine Jean-Pierre (53:11):

We will have more to share as we get closer to the day. We just wanted to make sure that you all had the information that he will be traveling during the dates that I laid out, February 20th to the 22nd. And we certainly have more to share.

Zeke (53:24):

A different topic. Last night, the reporting the former vice president was subpoenaed by special counsel Jack Smith as a result of some of the investigations of the previous administration. That obviously raises much privileged concerns. Would the president waive executive privilege for the former vice president’s testimony for a grand jury or [inaudible 00:53:43]?

Karine Jean-Pierre (53:43):

I’m just not going to, as you can imagine, not going to speak to this. I’m just going to refer you to Department of Justice. Okay. Nobody has a question. I can leave right now.

Speaker 13 (53:52):

Karine, thank you. New Inspector General Report accuses the Architect of the Capitol, Brett Blanton of a bunch of things. Widespread misuse of taxpayers driving 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 6th, 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?

Karine Jean-Pierre (54:23):

So obviously we’re taking this very seriously and we’re seeing the reports as well as you know, and we take any advice that the members of Congress or any action that they want 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,

Justin (54:40):

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 to law or would he veto it?

Karine Jean-Pierre (54:51):

So I would’ve to go back to the team and just get an answer for you on that. I just 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. Katzy.

Katzy (55:03):

Hey, Karine. While this briefing has been underway the National Archives has released some of the communications between the president’s personal attorneys and the agency. One of them dated on November 8th has 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. It says, “Pat,” it says to 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 were doing in a Boston office and how this relates to-

Karine Jean-Pierre (55:34):

Well, as you just mentioned, 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 speaking to. But I would refer you to the White House Council’s Office to get more specifics or get you an answer there.

Katzy (55:50):

… Is it new to you the idea that the boxes would be-

Karine Jean-Pierre (55:54):

I’m am learning about this as you were asking the question, so I’m certainly not going to speak to it from here. Good. Andrea?

Andrea (55:59):

Karine, on the president’s meeting today with the governors, he 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. What is the president’s view on how to get to the two trillion in cuts that he has outlined in the State of the Union address? What is the best way to get there and does he rule out the possibility of cutting, for instance, defense spending?

Karine Jean-Pierre (56:32):

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, the Republican House to put out their budget as well, a more robust 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 cut the deficit by two trillion 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 be able to peruse and see exactly what the president is laying out. I’m just not going 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. 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.

Andrea (57:38):

Also said that, “He did not believe that Republicans would ultimately make good their threat 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 since his meeting with McCarthy and when will he meet again with McCarthy?

Karine Jean-Pierre (58:04):

So I don’t have any conversations or meetings to preview for you at this time. As you know the meeting that he had with Speaker McCarthy not too long ago was respectful, it was productive. You saw us put a readout and you heard from the speaker himself when he was out at the sticks after the meeting. 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.

Andrea (58:55):

He just sounded more optimistic today and I’m wondering why?

Karine Jean-Pierre (58:58):

Oh, this is the president who’s always optimistic. 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 in 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. Go ahead.

Speaker 32 (59:17):

Just particularly given Lula’s visit here this afternoon, is there any kind of update on the possibility of expelling Bolsonaro from the US? Does the president personally believe that he should be allowed to remain here?

Karine Jean-Pierre (59:28):

As I’ve said before, we had not received any type of request in that vein. I’m not going to get ahead of a meeting that’s going to happen very, very shortly. You guys all have to leave for the pool spray that’s going to happen in the Oval Office, so I’m not going to get ahead. President Lula is going to go to the sticks right after the by lat, I believe, and take many, 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 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.

Speaker 32 (01:00:08):

His meeting with the governors today. Do you know whether or how much the issue of Covid 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?

Karine Jean-Pierre (01:00:20):

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 looked 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 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.

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