Aug 10, 2022
Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre 8/09/22 Transcript
Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre 8/09/22. Read the transcript here.
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Karine Jean-Pierre: (00:00)
Good afternoon, everybody.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (00:03)
Hi, Peter. You’re like that kid in the class.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (00:11)
I’m expecting an apple, like a nice, shiny, red apple.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (00:18)
Okay. All right. Okay. Moments ago, the President signed the instruments of ratification for the accession protocols to NATO for Finland and Sweden. Before the signing, the President spoke with Swedish Prime Minister Anderson and Finnish President Niinistö, okay, Niinistö to emphasize the United States’ strong support for their decisions to apply for NATO membership and reiterate that the United States will continue to work with our NATO allies to quickly bring Sweden and Finland into the greatest defensive alliance in history. Finland and Sweden will make NATO stronger and deepen the transatlantic partnership at a time when Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has shattered peace and security in Europe, and fundamentally disrupted the rules-based international order. As the President said, this is a watershed moment for our alliance and for the greater security and stability of the world. As you all saw this morning, today, the President signed the CHIPS and Science Act, which will supercharge our efforts to make semiconductors here in America, which power everything from our smartphones to dishwashers to automobiles.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (01:38)
You have heard us talk about the economic and national security benefits of this bill four months now, but I wanted to lift up one new story that we heard from the President directly today, from Joshua Aviv directly today, the founder and CEO of SparkCharge. We know this bill is going to help major companies like Micron, Intel, General Motors, Ford, and so many more. But when Joshua introduced the President today, we also heard how the CHIPS and Science Act will help young, diverse and self-starting entrepreneurs as well. Joshua’s company, SparkCharge, is the first mobile ultra fast charger for electric vehicles, and he also started currently, which delivers a charge directly to you to EV owners on the road. He manufactures all of the products his company needs at their factory in Buffalo, New York, and the CHIPS and Science bill will help Joshua build and grow his business.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (02:45)
As the President said today, this is a once-in-a-generation law that invests in America itself, a law that the American people should be proud of. Also, as you may have seen yesterday, that Secretary Blinken was in South Africa and he announced the new us strategy towards Sub-Saharan Africa. This strategy articulates our new vision for a 21st century U.S. African partnership. It recognizes the tremendous positive opportunity that exists to advance shared interests along our African partners, and it reframes and recognize Africa’s importance to U.S. national security interests. This strategy also parallels many of the themes that we look forward to addressing in December at the U.S.- Africa Leaders Summit right here in Washington, D.C. We encourage you to review the full strategy and fact sheet posted on the White House website. Lastly, the average national gas price, I know you guys love us talking about gas prices going down, dropped below $4 per gallon according to a leading market analyst.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (03:59)
That’s delivering over $100 a month in vital relief to American families with two cars. This is the fastest decline in gas prices in over a decade, nearly a dollar drop in just 56 days, with gas prices dropping every single day. This summer, the most common price at gas stations today is $3.79 and drivers in five states can now find gas below $2.99 do per gallon from at least one gas station. President Biden promise he would address Putin’s price hike at the pump, and he has. He is releasing one billion barrels of oil a day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. He is rallying international partners to release an unprecedented amount of oil, and under President Biden’s leadership, U.S. oil production is up and on track to reach a record high. More work remains, but prices are coming down and the President will continue to call on domestic and international oil producers to increase output so that they can continue to come down. With that, Zeke, you want to take us away?
Thanks, Karine. Just briefly, at the earlier CHIPS signing, the President did coughing episodes. Is it possible to get an update from his physician about his status after his recovery from COVID, please.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (05:29)
As you know, we shared his negative test today. He has tested negative Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, and now today. We have also said many times, I think, during the briefing, when we were talking about his COVID case, that he experiences coughs from time to time independent of him getting COVID. What he’s experiencing right now is the lingering effects of COVID, which is something I’m sure many of us who have had COVID have endured or have to deal with, so that’s what you’re seeing at this time.
Can we get an update from his physician?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (06:07)
No, there’s no update needed. We had actually said that this was a possibility. We had been clear about that. We actually shared that he has an inhaler that he uses from time to time because he has experienced coughs as you’ve heard him from even before COVID that he has dealt with. Basically, what you’re seeing right now is lingering effects of that. We spoke to the doctor about this, and that’s what he relayed to us, specifically
On a different topic, the FBI is serving search warrant on the former President’s residence in Florida. Was the President or anyone at the White House aware of that search warrant or has anyone at the White House or the President been briefed in the aftermath of that search warrant being executed?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (06:52)
No. The President was not briefed, was not aware of it. No, no one at the White House was given a heads up. No, that did not happen.
Is the White House at all concerned, given the domestic political climate, but also the signal that it sends to the rest of the world that the Department of Justice carried out this sort of operation on a former President, that it could even create the appearance of a politically-motivated prosecution.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (07:16)
So first off, and you’ve heard us say this many times at this podium, you’ve heard the President say this, the Justice Department conducts investigations independently, and we leave any law enforcement matters to them. It would not be appropriate for us to comment on any ongoing investigations. I can say that President Biden has been unequivocal since the campaign he believes in the rule of law, in the independence of the Justice Department investigations that those investigations should be free from political influence, and he has held that commitment as President.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (07:52)
I want to also remind you all of what he said on January 7, 2021 when he then nominated Merrick Garland to be the Attorney General, and I quote, “We need to restore the honor, the integrity of the independence of the Department of Justice in this nation that has been so badly damaged. So many former leaders of that department in both parties have so testified and stated that. I want to be clear to those who lead this department, who you will serve. You won’t work for me. You are not the President or the Vice President’s lawyer. Your loyalty is not to me. It’s to the law, the constitution, the people of this nation to guarantee justice.” So I would refer you to the Department of Justice.
Lastly, does the White House and the President believe it would be helpful, both domestically and [inaudible 00:08:46] abroad for the Department of Justice to be more open about the reasons for that search warrant, the underlying evidence, then?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (08:52)
Again, this is not something I’m going to comment on today, or from here at all. This goes to the Department of Justice and that’s where I refer you to. Yeah. [inaudible 00:09:01]
Speaker 1: (09:01)
Karine, thank you. The President this morning stressed that the CHIPS Act will create jobs, will grow the economy, but when will Americans feel the impact of this legislation? When will this law impact supply chains? When might prices go down because of this?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (09:15)
So Secretary Raimando actually spoke to this a little bit, and the department is already taking steps to set up the office that will implement the bill. So we’ll have more details on that soon, but we are working hand- in-hand with private companies who are already announcing new investments here at home because we passed this bill. We had said for many months that we needed to send that signal for companies who were making decisions by the end of the summer. So by passing this, and now the President’s signing this, we have sent that signal, so you see companies working on that, private companies. So Intel is going to break ground on NextGen semiconductor factories in Central Ohio in early fall, so that is certainly a step forward. Micron is announcing a $40 billion investment in memory chip manufacturing, which will create up to 40,000 new jobs. Qualcomm and GlobalFoundries are announcing a new partnership, including 4.2 billion in CHIPS. Manufacturing. Qualcomm will increase U.S. chip manufacturing by up to 50%, just giving you a little bit of already what’s happening. We’ll have more specifics on when we’ll see a direct effect.
Speaker 1: (10:29)
On this rate, I understand you’re underscoring the independence of the Justice Department, but just politically, and in terms of the optics of this, are you concerned at all about how it looks for the Justice Department to be investigating and raidng the home of the former President who may very well be the current President’s rival in 2024?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (10:48)
Again, we’re just not going to comment on any ongoing investigations from here.
Speaker 1: (10:52)
And to Republicans who say reeks of politics.?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (10:54)
Look, I’ll say this, the President and the White House learned about this FBI surge from public reports. We learned just like the American public did yesterday, and we did not have advanced notice of this activity. President Biden has been very clear from before he was elected President and throughout his time in office that the Justice Department conducts its investigations independently. He believes in the rule of law and what we are are a nation of law. Again, we defer any incoming on this particular incident yesterday to the Department of Justice.
Speaker 2: (11:33)
To follow up on that, Karine, Republicans have said that they will probe this raid if they take over the House or the Senate after the November elections, what’s the White House’s reaction to that?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (11:45)
Again, I’m just not going to comment on any reaction to what happened yesterday. We are going to refer any incoming to Department of Justice.
Speaker 2: (11:55)
Okay, but that’s not really about DOJ. It’s more about what might be coming your way if, if the election does not go your way in November.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (12:02)
That’s a hypothetical, and I’m just not going to entertain it at this time.
And another topic, the House is meeting on Friday to vote about the Inflation Reduction Act. Assuming that they go ahead and pass the bill, what are the President’s plans for signing it?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (12:18)
No plans at this moment to share with all of you. As you know, there’s an enrollment process that takes some time before the bill can get signed, nothing to share at this time on what that looks like, so we just are looking forward. We are grateful for what the Senate was able to do just a couple of days ago, and we are looking forward to the House passing it so that we can deliver for the American people. [inaudible 00:12:43] Kaitlan, and then I’ll come back to you.
Kaitlan Collins: (12:43)
Just to follow up on the Republican criticism of this search warrant that was executed on Mar-a-Lago, does the President believe that the Justice Department acted accordingly here?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (12:56)
I’ll say this again, that’s up for the Department of Justice to decide. When it comes to the criminal investigation, it is independent and they make that decision.
Kaitlan Collins: (13:09)
Has the White House been told whether or not Attorney General Garland signed off on the search warrant himself?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (13:15)
We learned about this, the President learned about this just like you all did through the public reports. We learned about this just like the American people did.
Kaitlan Collins: (13:25)
So you don’t know whether or not Garland signed off on it.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (13:28)
I don’t have anything more to share. So like I said, we did not know about this and we have not been briefed on this. We learned about this just as you all were reporting it through the public reports
Speaker 1: (13:41)
On the President’s agenda, how does he plan to use the string of wins that he’s had lately, and the Democrats have had lately to turn it into a sense of momentum, not just for his own low approval ratings, but also to help Democrats in the midterm elections.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (13:54)
So look, what we have seen this past week, and I would argue, the past 18 months has been a President who has-
Karine Jean-Pierre: (14:03)
… argue that the past 18 months has been a president who has more legislative success than any modern president. If you think about the American Rescue Plan, if you think about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, if you think about what’s going on with CHIPS, what’s happening with the Inflation Reduction Act, that we are grateful for and it looks like it’s going to be passing out of the House in a couple of days, and so much more, burn pits. All of these successes, certainly, is something that the President has talked about for many years. If you look specifically at the Inflation Reduction Act and those components that are incredibly popular, when you think about how the American people feel about lowering energy costs, lowering healthcare premiums, these are things, and especially the Medicare to be able to negotiate, these are things that Democrats have been fighting for for 34 years. Special interest groups have said no, and have allowed Congressional members to work really hard and pass bills to lower those costs for American people. Finally, what we have seen this week is a win, is a win for the American public.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (15:18)
The President, the Vice President, Cabinet secretaries, Congressional members, are certainly going to be out there talking to the American people, talking about these wins for them that we were able to work together on. That’s what you’re going to see in the upcoming weeks. You have Congressional Democrats right now in their districts talking about this particular bill and others, CHIPS, as well,` in their district, and talking about how they were able to deliver.
Kaitlan Collins: (15:46)
Does the President think he’ll get a boost from this?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (15:50)
Look, I think our focus is always on delivering for the American people. This is a president who has been in office for some time. A lot of the components that we have seen delivered are things that he has fought for since he was a senator. When you think about lowering prescription drugs, that’s something that’s incredibly personal to him, and that’s what matters. What matters right now is the work that we’re doing, which are very popular, the components, the legislation are very popular with the American public, and that’s going to be our focus.
Speaker 3: (16:22)
[inaudible 00:16:22] said in a letter to the Justice Department in February that classified material, apparently, was taken from this building down to Mar-a-Lago in Florida. What’s the President’s reaction to that general notion?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (16:33)
I’m not going to comment further from here from what I said. This is a criminal investigation that the Department of Justice is running and I leave it to them to speak to it.
Speaker 3: (16:43)
The President is the original classification authority, all of it stems from him personally. He has no specific reaction to the way that classified material was apparently handled in this case?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (16:52)
Again, this is a criminal investigation that the Department of Justice is independently running. We will leave it to them to speak to this.
Speaker 3: (17:02)
Once more on this question of the general reaction to what has happened since yesterday. Does the President feel of the FBI’s legitimacy and the decision-making in the way that it handled this is on the line now?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (17:11)
The President had been very clear. I read his quote from when January 7th in 2021, when he nominated Merrick Garland and how he felt the importance of not politicizing the Department of Justice, the importance of having that independence. And so, I leave the quote that I read to all of you just moments ago to you.
Speaker 3: (17:33)
Separately, the President visited…. Well, we know that the Speaker of the House was here visiting the President today. Did they discuss the Speakers visit to Taiwan?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (17:42)
I have not seen the President since the event, so I can’t speak to that at this time.
Peter Doocy: (17:48)
Thanks, Karine. Do you consider Donald Trump to be a political rival of President Biden?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (17:54)
I’m not going to speak to that from here.
Peter Doocy: (17:55)
But you talk about Trump all the time, so do you consider him to be-
Karine Jean-Pierre: (17:59)
I don’t talk about Trump all the time.
Peter Doocy: (18:01)
Ultra MAGA, you guys were criticizing his handling of COVID last week, you’ve mentioned his January 6th response a couple days ago. So, can you say, based on all that… I didn’t say anything about Mar-a-Lago, I’m just asking you if you consider the President to be-
Karine Jean-Pierre: (18:14)
I’m saying from here, I’m not going to comment on that.
Peter Doocy: (18:17)
Does the President still think that he would be very fortunate to run against Trump in 2024, like he had said before?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (18:25)
Again, I’m not going to comment on-
Peter Doocy: (18:28)
It’s just a quote from the President, “In the next election, I’d be very fortunate if I had that same man running against me.” Does he still think like that?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (18:33)
All I can tell you, Peter, is that the President intends to run in 2024.
Peter Doocy: (18:37)
Is there a concern here that if you guys don’t say more, that these Republicans who are accusing this White House of weaponizing the Justice Department, weaponizing the FBI, that that’s going to become the public sentiment if you guys don’t say, once and for all, “We are not doing that”?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (18:57)
First of all, we’re just not going to comment on the Department of Justice investigation. We’re just not going to comment on that.
Peter Doocy: (19:04)
Is this White House weaponizing the Justice Department and the FBI against political opponents?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (19:12)
The President has been very clear, from before he was elected, very clear on this… Hold on. Throughout his time in office-
Peter Doocy: (19:19)
I heard the quote, we will be playing the quote tonight at 6:00. Is this administration weaponizing the Justice Department and the FBI against political opponents?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (19:30)
Peter, the President believes in the rule of law, the President believes in the independence of the Department of Justice-
Peter Doocy: (19:37)
That’s a yes or no. Just is this White House-
Karine Jean-Pierre: (19:40)
No, it’s a yes or a no for you. I’m answering the question. You may not like it, but I’m answering the question-
Peter Doocy: (19:46)
Karine Jean-Pierre: (19:46)
… and I’m… No. Nope. I’m answering the question and I’m telling you that we are not going to comment on a criminal investigation. The President has been very clear. I laid out what his thoughts were back on January 7th in 2021 about how he saw the Department of Justice and I’m just going to leave it there. We are not going to comment from here, from this White House on a criminal investigation that is currently happening.
Peter Doocy: (20:15)
Just one more about the Inflation Reduction Act, who around here decided that Americans were crying out for more interaction with the IRS?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (20:24)
I don’t understand your question, you’ll have to say more.
Peter Doocy: (20:26)
Do you think it’s going to be popular when the 87,000 new employees hired by the IRS go around and start auditing people to pay for the Inflation Reduction Act?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (20:35)
So, it’s very clear, the IRS Commissioner was very clear on this. He said, on the record, that it will only apply to those earning over $400,000. The Commissioner said, and I quote, “These resources are absolutely not about increasing audit scrutiny on small businesses or middle income Americans. As we have been in planning our investment of these enforcement resources, it is designed around treasury directive that audit rates will not rise relative to recent years for households making under $400,000.” So-
Peter Doocy: (21:11)
So, no audits?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (21:12)
… this is focus on those who are corporate wealthy tax cheats that Congressional Republicans wanted to defend. That’s who they wanted to defend, they wanted to defend those corporate tax cheats, this is not about that. This is not about folks who make less than $400,000.
Peter Doocy: (21:34)
So, no new audits on anybody making under $400,000 a year?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (21:37)
No. Very clear, no. Hey, Monica. Welcome to the briefing room.
Thank you very much. Former Vice President Pence called on the Attorney General to provide a full accounting of the FBI search at Mar-a-Lago. Is that something the White House would support?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (21:53)
I’m not going to comment on this, I’m going to refer you to the Department of Justice.
Has the President spoken with the Attorney General today?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (22:01)
I’m just not going to speak further on any conversations, there’s no calls for me to preview. Again, I’m just not going to comment on any ongoing criminal investigations.
When it comes to student loans and the current pause on the payments, they’re set to expire at the end of the month, a lot of borrowers told us that they feel they’ve been left in limbo, making it difficult to plan financially. Is there any update on that expected, when can they expect that, and would it possibly just be another extension, or what else is on the table with that?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (22:32)
So, the President spoke to this when he was asked, I think about two weeks ago about the student loan and his decision, he said by the end of August. So, we’re still at the beginning, getting into the middle of August, so when he’s ready to make that decision, we will let you know.
What would you say to the borrowers, that these three-month extensions are making it very complicated-
Karine Jean-Pierre: (22:51)
I’ll say this, and we have been very clear on this, the President understands how student loans could affect a family and how the pressure of that can really be a lot and put a lot of weight on a family’s purse or economic situation, so he understands that. He is going to make his decision on this and when he has something to say, we will share that.
And just finally, on Ukraine, what is the White House understanding of the situation at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (23:23)
Which power plant?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (23:27)
I spoke to this yesterday during the gaggle. Basically, what I said yesterday is we continue to closely monitor the situation at the ZNPP. The Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration report that radiation sensors are continuing to provide data and thankfully, we have seen no indications of increased or abnormal radiation levels. We also are aware of reports of mistreatment of ZNPP staff and applaud the Ukrainian authorities and operators for their commitment to nuclear safety and security under trying circumstances. Fighting near a nuclear plant is dangerous and we continue to call on Russia to seize all military operations at or near Ukrainian nuclear facilities and return full control to Ukraine. For our part, we will continue to support the efforts of the International Atomic Energy Agency to fulfill its technical safeguards mandate to assist Ukraine with nuclear safety and security measures across its nuclear facilities.
Speaker 4: (24:36)
Thanks, Karine. President Biden is scheduled to leave town for South Carolina tomorrow. Can we get any details on how long he’ll be away on vacations, what he’ll be doing?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (24:46)
I don’t have more to share on that. I’m sure, as the days go by, we’ll share more about what the timing will be. I just don’t have anything for you to share at this time on his schedule.
Speaker 4: (24:56)
I know you spoke this before, but would he come back from that to sign the Reconciliation Bill?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (25:00)
Well, first, we’re going to work closely with the House to get that passed in the next couple of days. Once we have more to share, we will share his schedule, if that changes.
Speaker 4: (25:13)
Can you talk about the CPI data tomorrow, what your expectations are, what you guys are looking at?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (25:14)
Yep. So, as you know, the President’s number one priorities to making sure that we lower costs for American families. That’s what we have been saying the past couple of months, especially as it relates to inflation. We laid out our plan on what that would look like. So, we haven’t seen the data yet for tomorrow. We know that gas prices have fallen, I just listed that, for 56 days straight to below $4 nationwide. We hope those gas price declines will factor into the CPI inflation data. Because of that, because of the work that the President has done these past several months, as I just mentioned earlier, we have seen a decline, a steep decline, a decline that we haven’t seen in more than a decade, saving families about 100 a month. But again, we have not seen those numbers yet, and so we’ll see tomorrow what that holds.
Speaker 4: (26:12)
Speaker 5: (26:13)
Hey. Thanks, Karine. A question about the Affordable Care Act. Does the White House plan respond in any way to the Kelley v. Becerra lawsuit in Texas, which threatens provisions around preventive care?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (26:25)
I’m not going to respond to any lawsuits from here. Okay. Anything else? I’ll come to the back.
Speaker 6: (26:33)
I know that you’ve spoken about conversations, or not commented on having conversations today with the Department of Justice. But would the White House now rule out any briefings moving forward as this investigation continues, given the accusations around any sort of partisanship impacting the investigation? I guess-
Karine Jean-Pierre: (26:54)
Can you say more?
Speaker 6: (26:54)
Sure. The question being, moving forward, will the President or anybody from the White House be engaged in any briefings with the Department of Justice over this search or the investigation?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (27:08)
When it comes to a criminal investigation, that is the Department of Justice to investigate and deal with. We give them their independence on that.
Speaker 6: (27:20)
But not clarifying whether or not there would be any sort of briefings, whether any briefings would be made between the Justice Department and the White House, and whether they would be made public if-
Karine Jean-Pierre: (27:32)
Again, they’re independent. We are not involved in their criminal investigation, that is not something that we do here. We give them their independence when it comes to that, and so we leave it to Department of Justice. So, any particulars, any specifics on what they’re going to do next or anything to that fashion, I would refer you to the Department of Justice.
Speaker 6: (27:56)
I want to ask about student loans just one more time. The way this was described previously in reporting and just in conversation about it, even in this room, is.
Speaker 7: (28:03)
… Obviously in reporting and just in conversation about even in this room is around cancellation and a possible extension when it comes to a decision being made before August. The president has said that, that a decision would be made before August. Is it possible that that decision is just limited to whether or not there is an extension or not and cancellation or any sort of relief is left for another time?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (28:23)
So when it comes to the pause, I know there’s the pause and the cancellation, we haven’t made a decision yet. So I’m just going to go to the pause first. The Department of Education will communicate directly with borrowers about the end of the payment pause when a decision is made. So, again, no decisions have been made.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (28:40)
When it comes to the cancellation, look, I just said the president understands firsthand the burden, the burden that student loan has on families, it puts on families. We’re just going to continue to assess our options for cancellation. So no decisions have been made on that yesterday. The president has made clear he’ll have something before August 31st.
Speaker 7: (29:03)
Would any decision impact students of both public and private-
Karine Jean-Pierre: (29:06)
I’m just not going to get into specifics. Once we have more, we’ll share that with all of you. Okay, go ahead.
Speaker 8: (29:12)
Thanks, Karine. Homeland Security announced yesterday that it is ending the Remain in Mexico policy. So I just wanted to see if the White House has any reaction to that. Also, I’m wondering too if you can talk a little bit about the timing of this decision. The Supreme Court ruled in June, late June, that the administration had the authority to eliminate the program. So I’m just wondering what took so long? Did the president wanted it to be done earlier?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (29:40)
So as we have said before, the Migrant Protection Protocol, MPP, policy under the prior administration was flawed, it was inhumane, and it was ineffective. Now that the lower court’s order requiring us to continue, the policy has been lifted. That happened just yesterday. The Department of Homeland Security has restarted efforts to terminate it. So we were waiting for the lower court, and it made that decision yesterday. So any further detail, I would just refer you to them, to the Department of Homeland Security.
Speaker 9: (30:13)
Karine Jean-Pierre: (30:16)
Okay, go ahead. In the back.
Speaker 10: (30:17)
Yeah. So CPI [inaudible 00:30:17] inflation is coming out tomorrow. Another question on that. So you’ve pointed out the gas prices are not falling. You said the government spending won’t really affect inflation going forward. So then has the American people see an inflation peak and is it now coming back down?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (30:31)
Look, what I can tell you is … I explained CPI. We haven’t seen a number yet. We’ve seen the gas prices come down in the past 56 days, which is because of the work that this president has done. We hope to see that is reflected in CPI. So we will see what that looks like tomorrow.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (30:53)
As it relates to inflation as a whole, what I can speak to is the work that we have been doing and the plan that we have put forth, including making sure the Federal Reserve has their independence to make sure that they can do the work that they’re doing and they have the strongest monetary policy to work on those things.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (31:16)
It matters that the Inflation Reduction Act looks like it’s going to pass. It matters because we have 126 economists, both on the right and both on the D side, Republican and Democrats, who have said it is going to help fight inflation. That is important, including five treasury secretaries, also under Democrats and Republican administration.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (31:41)
So that’s going to be incredibly important. We’re just going to continue doing the work. Yes, gas prices came down by a dollar per gallon, but we understand that there’s more work to do, and we’re going to continue to do that. We leave any data … I’ll leave that. We’ll see what the data looks like.
Speaker 10: (32:00)
[inaudible 00:32:00]. The Intel CFO says that they don’t expect to see the money until the end of 2023. So then the jobs the president is promising from this act, will they then have to wait till 2024 as the money cycles through?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (32:14)
Well, I mean I was kind of clear on this, and we have been for the past several months. I said this moments ago. One of the things about passing the CHIPS Act and now signing into law, as you saw the president do today, was sending that signal to private companies that we were going to take action to make sure that investments were happening here, to make sure that manufacturers were staying in America, and that we were able to make sure that we were doing the work that our country needed to do to make sure that we’re leading across the globe.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (32:53)
And so, that sent a signal to private companies, and that’s why I was able to lay out what Intel is going to do, what Micron is going to do, and Qualcomm and GlobalFoundries.
Speaker 10: (33:04)
When will we see those jobs? When will we see those jobs?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (33:04)
Well, I think we’ll have more to share. This is the question that I’d gotten, like when are the American people going to feel the impact? We’ll have details on that very soon. In the meantime, we’re taking steps to set up the office to get this done as quickly as possible.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (33:21)
But I think what’s important here is that this commitment that we have made … Again, CHIPS, bipartisan, very important; both Republicans and Democrats came together to get this done … shows a very loud message to private companies that we want to make sure that we are investing in America and also can compete across the globe. Go ahead, Sebastian.
Thank you, Karine. So I’m not asking you to comment on the Justice Department’s side of this, obviously, because I know you can’t answer it. But, politically, is the president, who’s the country’s leader, is he confident that he has a plan to address the way that a lot of Americans, maybe even a very large number of Americans, are being told and may not believe that Donald Trump is being persecuted, that the deep state’s coming after you, that the IRS and the FBI are corrupt, all this kind of stuff? This is really believed, apparently, by really a lot of people. He’s the leader of the whole country, as he often says. Does he have a handle on this?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (34:23)
Your question is still asking me to comment on what’s happening. By me answering it is still asking me a question to comment on it.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (34:31)
Oh, absolutely. So I’m going to stick to what I’ve been saying, is that this is a criminal investigation that’s independent to the DOJ, and we leave any inquiry, any questions about what is happening to the Department of Justice. Okay, go ahead.
Speaker 11: (34:50)
Thank you, Karine. One on NATO, one on Ukraine. The president urged the remaining seven NATO members to complete gratification process for Finland and Sweden, as he said, as quickly as possible. What is desired timeframe when he wants other leaders to complete the process? By the winter? By the end of the year? What’s his message to those leaders of those seven countries, including Turkey?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (35:16)
So we don’t have a timeline to share. I think what you were hearing from the president is his strong support, clearly, from not just from him but from Congress, from Americans, about how we support this expansion, this ratification that we saw today with Sweden and Finland. As I just laid out, he spoke to both of them. We hopefully have put out a readout by now. So you’ll hear directly from us on how those conversations went.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (35:50)
And so, we’re going to continue to work with our allies and partners to strengthen that defense alliance. It’s one of the strongest that we have seen in modern times. That’s a lot of that is because of this president’s leadership. And so, we’re going to just continue to make sure that we make our voice clear.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (36:15)
But I don’t have a timeline to share. The president speaks to the NATO members very regularly, as we read out to all of you. But this is an important day. We think this is a very important day for NATO as we continue.
Speaker 11: (36:30)
On Ukraine, there has been a series of explosions at the Russian Air Force Base in Crimea. It’s not clear yet what happened, but I’m wondering if you consider Crimea a legitimate target for Ukraine when they use US-provided weapons.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (36:48)
So we are supportive of Ukraine’s efforts, as you know, to defend its sovereignty and territory integrity, as we have said many times from here. The fight has been in the east and the southwest of the country, and it’s far from over. We have warned this could be a long and protracted war. We will continue to ensure that Ukraine can push back against Russia’s unprovoked aggression, and that’s going to be our focus.
Speaker 11: (37:18)
Is it a legitimate target or not?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (37:18)
Say that one more time.
Speaker 11: (37:18)
So is the Crimea a legitimate target for Ukraine when they use US-provided weapons? Because in the past, Pentagon seem to try to convince Ukraine not to use US-provided weapon to attack Russian territory.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (37:36)
So I don’t have anything else for you on this. I’m saying to you that we are going to continue to support Ukraine as they’re fighting for their freedom, as they’re fighting for their sovereignty against a brutal attack from Russia.
Speaker 9: (37:52)
Speaker X: (37:53)
Karine Jean-Pierre: (37:53)
Okay, go ahead, Jenny.
Speaker 11: (37:53)
Thanks, Karine. [inaudible 00:37:56].
Karine Jean-Pierre: (37:54)
I’ll come to you. Go ahead, Jenny.
I know you said that you haven’t seen the president since the bill signing and his opportunities to speak with Speaker Pelosi about her Taiwan trip. Presumably tomorrow they have another chance at the PACT Act signing. But since you have talked with him about the trip since it happened, does he want to have a conversation with Speaker Pelosi about it, to hear what she’s heard on the ground, what the Taiwanese government would want to see from the US government? Is he seeking at all a conversation like that?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (38:29)
So one thing I will … I mean they talk pretty regularly. This is the speaker of the House and the president. They have a friendship. They have a relationship. I don’t have anything specific to read out about any recent conversation on her trip.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (38:43)
What I can say is reiterate a little bit of what the president said yesterday, when he was asked about the speaker going. He said it was her right to go. Again, we are going to reiterate this. It was her right to go. There was precedence for this. As we know, Newt Gingrich, when he was speaker, went a generation ago.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (39:05)
Again, it does not change our policy, our One China policy. It does not change any of that. And so, I will leave it to the speaker. She spoke to this earlier today. She was on one of your colleague’s networks talking about her trip. So I’ll let her speak to it directly.
Does the president agree, since you just mentioned her appearances this morning, that President Xi Jinping is a scared bully and in a fragile place?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (39:33)
I actually did not watch the interview. I know she was on the … Look, she’s going to speak for herself. She is the speaker. It is up to her to make decisions on where she will travel. It is up to members of Congress to make that decision on where they would travel.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (39:52)
What we provide, we provide a briefing on what the geopolitics looks like in the region, in that country, the national security components of their particular specific trip, but we are not … And you’ve heard us say this. It is a co-equal branch of government, but also separation of powers. She has her right to make that trip. I will let her speak to speak to it and how she feels about it. I cannot speak for her.
Speaker 9: (40:23)
One on the back.
One more on Russia. My colleague has reported today that a merchant ship carrying military equipment passed Turkey’s Bosphorus Strait on the way from Syria to Russia. I’m wondering if you can give us an update on how concerned the US is about this, but also was there any outreach to Turkish officials since it was the Turkish strait?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (40:41)
We don’t have anything to share on that from here at this time.
Speaker 9: (40:44)
The back, Karine.
Speaker 12: (40:45)
Karine Jean-Pierre: (40:45)
Okay, I’m going to try and go to the back. Go ahead. Go ahead.
Speaker 13: (40:46)
Karine Jean-Pierre: (40:48)
No, Paul. I’m going to go … Phil?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (40:49)
Okay, I’m sorry.
The president campaigned on binding up the wounds of the country and restoring norms. I’m wondering, two years in, if the president believes that he has made progress in restoring the American public’s faith in federal institutions.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (41:07)
Well, one of the things that we understand, and the president understands … And I’ve been asked this question in different variations, and it’s pretty much the same. When he ran, he understood that we were in a politically polarized environment. He understands that it was going to be a lot of work to bring people together.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (41:32)
I think the work continues even in his first 18 months. There’s still a lot of work to be done. But he has been able to do some things that people said he couldn’t do. The bipartisanship on the bipartisan infrastructure law. It brought the R’s and the D’s, Republicans and Democrats, together. That was because of this president’s leadership that he was able to do that, to deliver an infrastructure investment that was historical …
Karine Jean-Pierre: (42:03)
… an infrastructure investment that was historical. We were able to do that with the CHIPS and Science Act, bring the two sides together to get something done to make sure that we’re leaders across the world when it comes to manufacturing. And so there are things that this president has done because of his leadership. Somebody was asking me about NATO, that is also important as well. NATO is the strongest that it’s been in modern times because of his leadership abroad. So I think there’s still more work to be done. It’s not like turning the light switch on. And so we’re going to continue to do the work. There’s no yes or no answer, there is, we are gonna continue to work towards that.
Speaker 14: (42:43)
Gotcha. And then, you’ve said repeatedly that the president learned of the news of the FBI visit to Mar-a-Lago the other day through news reports. Can you tell us anything more? Was he watching the news? Was he scrolling Twitter? Did someone in his staff flag it for him?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (42:59)
I can tell you this, he was not aware of… What was it? The Mar-a-Lago raid? I don’t know what you guys are calling it, before it happened. So I can tell you that he did not know.
Speaker 14: (43:14)
So did someone flag it for him?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (43:16)
He learned about it really like all of us did. I’m sure maybe someone on his team flagged it for him. But he was not aware. What I can tell you definitively and for sure, he was not aware of this. Nobody in The White House was. We were not given a heads up. And we did not know about what happened yesterday.
Speaker 15: (43:35)
[inaudible 00:43:35] … afterwards between the Justice Department and President Biden?
Speaker 16: (43:38)
One question for Africa, Karine.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (43:40)
I’m going to come back guys.
Speaker 16: (43:41)
Thank you. Why do we always have to beg for patience? Africans deserve questions as well, Karine. Come on.
Speaker 17: (43:49)
What is the latest on communications with Beijing? Are there still efforts to come to meeting face-to-face?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (43:56)
No update on his schedule on any meeting at this time. Look, we have said, we’ve said this many times that we’re keeping the line of communications open with Beijing. The president spoke with President Xi not too long ago. We read that out. It was more than a two hour and 20 minute conversation. That was his fifth conversation with the president. On staff levels, there’s an open dialogue that we’re going to keep.
Speaker 18: (44:21)
Karine, back here.
Speaker 16: (44:24)
Can I have a question, Karine?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (44:26)
I’ll take a couple more questions.
Speaker 16: (44:27)
One for Africa. One question for Africa. Karine.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (44:27)
Guys, go ahead.
Speaker 16: (44:35)
[inaudible 00:44:35] question in the back.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (44:35)
Give me a second.
Speaker 16: (44:38)
We have been asking for a question for every time and even when you give questions to Simon it’s because he force. We don’t need to force for question. We also deserve to have a question.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (44:47)
I will get-
Speaker 16: (44:48)
Do you have something against African reporters? We deserve questions too, Karine.
Speaker 19: (44:51)
On Afghanistan, Jake Sullivan said last year that there was going to be extensive top to bottom review of the withdrawal and how that went.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (44:58)
Can you start again because someone was yelling over you.
Speaker 19: (45:00)
Sure. On Afghanistan, Jake Sullivan said last year that there was going to be a top to bottom extensive review on how that withdrawal went.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (45:07)
The hot wash.
Speaker 19: (45:08)
There was some recording today that is not going to be ready for the one year mark. I guess the question is why is that process taking so long? What’s been the hold up there?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (45:18)
I know you’re talking about the hot washing specifically. The update that I can give you from here is that departments and agencies have begun their independent after action reviews of the operations at the end of the US military mission in Afghanistan. And again, once those internal reviews are done, we will have an opportunity to look at the full picture. Once they’re done, we will have the full picture in a way that will help inform future operations. Department and agencies will share lessons, learn consistent with operational and classification security. It’s just still underway. Once we have that, we will share our lessons.
Speaker 19: (45:59)
So [inaudible 00:45:59] wait on like agency level department level, White House hasn’t received anything.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (46:03)
From what I understand, it’s the department and agency levels.
Speaker 19: (46:05)
And there’s no set timeline-
Karine Jean-Pierre: (46:08)
Don’t have a timeline for you on this. Go ahead.
Speaker 16: (46:08)
May I have a question please? Can I have a question Karine?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (46:12)
Go ahead, Andrew.
Thank you. Adjacent to the news of the day from yesterday. Since the news of the search of former President Trump’s home became public, there’s been a lot of reporting on chatter among extremists online about the possibility of violence, people talking about Civil War II, et cetera, et cetera. The president put out a domestic violent extremism strategy last year. Is the White House in contact with the Justice Department, DHS or other departments about preparing for possible violence as a result of this?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (46:55)
We’ve been very clear, and so our message is this, that the president and this White House, there’s no place for political violence in this country. People have the right to raise their voices peacefully, but we would strongly condemn, as we have many times from here, the president has condemned any efforts to plan violent behavior of any kind. And so we would ask Americans to remain peaceful in this time. Again, this is something that we condemn. I don’t have anything more to share about the particular policy that you’re asking me about. Go ahead. Right behind.
Speaker 16: (47:31)
Can I have a question?
Speaker 20: (47:33)
Thank you, Karine. Can you speak to the importance of the Inflation Reduction Act reaching Black and brown communities, which we know they make a disproportionate share of poverty rates and pay more in energy costs. And to what extent will the administration ensure that it’s implemented equitably?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (47:50)
Clearly we have to get this passed. We’re going to work very closely as we have been with Congress to get this done because this is incredibly important and we want to make sure we deliver this for the American people.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (48:04)
I think if you look at how prescription drugs are going to go down because Medicare will be able to negotiate with companies, with pharmaceutical, that is going to be incredibly important. When you think about brown and Black communities are spending, and not just them, but you think about Americans across the board, that are spending so much money. Our seniors just to get that vital drug that they need just to live their everyday lives, that’s going to have an impact on brown and Black communities we believe. And when you think about utility bills coming down because of this investment that it’s going to make in really in lowering energy cost. And so those things are going to make a difference.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (48:53)
We think about the ACA premiums, that’s going to keep our lower cost on healthcare. That’s going to make a difference in communities as well. And when you think about the president’s economic plan more broadly, it’s always been about making sure that it is economically fair, that we don’t leave anybody behind. We talk about building it from the bottom up and the middle out. We want to make sure that no communities feel like they’re being left behind. And so that has always been part of the president’s agenda. And you see that here with the Inflation Reduction Act as well.
Okay. Thank you, Karine. I know you said you don’t really want to comment on an ongoing investigation, but what time did the president learn about the raid yesterday?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (49:46)
I don’t have anything more to share, Simon. I’ve said all that I can about the topic.
And also you said that the president believes in the rule of law. Does he believe in the rule of law when he comes to the former president or even his son?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (50:02)
I’m not going to comment anymore on both of those topics that you just mentioned. The Department of Justice is independent with their criminal investigation. The president has been very clear on that and I would refer you to Department of Justice on those two topics that you just brought up.
One final question for me.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (50:19)
The secretary is in Africa, yesterday [inaudible 00:50:23] the US, the new US strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa, but that strategy doesn’t have any step to show how the US will counter China or Russia in Africa. And why is that?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (50:38)
I could say this. One of the things that we made sure about this, our strategy, it had a different approach, a unique approach about how we are doing it. We seek to engage not only government leaders, but a wide range of African and US stakeholders, such as youth, business, civil society, and the diaspora. As you know, there’s going to be a summit here in December, December 13th to the 15th. And so that’s something that I want to make sure that is said as we’re headed to the summit in just a couple of months.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (51:19)
And our relationship as it relates to Africa, we believe is incredibly important. I just laid out what the secretary talked about. We want to make sure we’re reinvigorating and modernizing US partnerships across the continent, building substantive, reciprocal partnership with African governments, institution and public based on the principles of mutual respect, equality, and other shared values and strengthened by our long lasting historical and cultural connections. We want to make sure that our commitment is there.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (51:49)
There’s going to be many issues to talk about for the summit. And as we lay out our strategy for Africa, it’s going to be about national security we’ll talk about. We’ll talk about COVID. We’ll talk about food security and we’ll talk about other items as well that’s going to be important to both global challenges. That’s going to be important to African nations and also the US.
If I can ask you this last question-
Karine Jean-Pierre: (52:17)
We got to move on. We got to move on. No, no, no, no. We got to move on. Way in the back. Go ahead.
Speaker 21: (52:21)
Thank you. On the CHIPS Act signing today, with semiconductors primarily being manufactured right now overseas in east Asia, what message does this send, does the president want this to send to China specifically at a time tensions are high?
Karine Jean-Pierre: (52:38)
Look, the president talked about this in his speech as well. He mentioned the importance of being competitive in that competition. This is why the CHIPS and Science Act is so important, so we show that we are committed in investing in us, in made in America and committed and making sure that we have manufacturing that’s happening here. As you mentioned, chips and semiconductors, as you mentioned, even our national security, strengthening our national security is going to be important in CHIPS. Strengthening our supply chain is going to be also important as we look at CHIPS. So look, it doesn’t stop us, even the escalation that we’re seeing and that we are being very clear about with how we’re communicating on that piece as well.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (53:25)
But we also have to continue to do the work of the American people. We have to make sure that we are delivering for the American people, and that’s what this shows. It’s going to create jobs. And it’s going to create those important chips when you think about the automobiles, when you think about the smartphones, all of these things. It’s going to be important in lowering cost for the American people. And so that’s our message to the American people is that we’re going to make sure that we deliver for them and lower costs and create jobs at the same time.
Speaker 21: (53:57)
One more on inflation with numbers coming out, wanting to get more detail about what the White House is prepared to do to help families on a fixed income who are still struggling.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (54:07)
Look, that’s top of mind for this president. We talk about that pretty regularly, how lowering cost for Americans is so important, how lowering cost for Americans is critical. We understand what is happening. The president personally understands what’s happening around the kitchen table and the conversations that people are having about how are they going to put food on their table? How are they going to put gas in their car? That’s why one of the things that we have been talking about and working on with the gas prices coming down the last 56 days matters. It gives Americans a little bit more of breathing room.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (54:42)
So the president laid down what his inflation plan is. He knows there’s still more work to do. But again, the Inflation Reduction Act, once that gets passed, that is going to make a difference in people’s lives. Prescription drugs, utility bills, that, and we think about ACA, bringing down the premiums for folks, that’s going to make a difference in people’s lives. The CHIPS Act, I just laid out, that’s going to make a difference in people’s lives. And so that’s the work that we’re going to continue to focus on, and we’re going to make sure that we deliver for the American people.
Karine Jean-Pierre: (55:19)
All right. Thanks everybody.
Speaker 22: (55:20)
Thank you, Karine.