President Joe Biden engaged with reporters on various topics during his departure from the White House, particularly addressing questions about former President Donald Trump’s potential presence on the presidential ballot. The interaction included a lighthearted exchange with a reporter challenging Biden’s characterization of Trump as a threat to democracy.
As reporters fired questions at Biden, one journalist pressed him on his stance regarding Trump being allowed on the ballot. Biden responded with a wisecrack, suggesting that Trump’s popularity in polls might be due to reporters like the one questioning him. The president quickly clarified that he was teasing and noted the early timing of the discussion.
Amid questions about Iran and the Middle East, Biden affirmed his belief that Iran is responsible for supplying weapons linked to attacks that resulted in the deaths of three Americans. When asked about the possibility of a wider war in the Middle East, Biden expressed his reluctance, stating that he does not seek a broader conflict in the region.
The discussion then shifted to the border situation, with Biden asserting that he has done all he can with executive authority and emphasizing the need for additional resources, including Border Patrol and judges, to address the challenges effectively.
A significant part of the exchange focused on Trump’s potential candidacy, with Biden being asked about the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling banning Trump on 14th Amendment grounds. In December, Biden had remarked on Trump’s alleged support for an insurrection, emphasizing that the courts would decide the applicability of the 14th Amendment.
The overall tone of the interaction remained relatively light, marked by Biden’s teasing remarks and candid responses to the various inquiries. The president’s stance on Trump’s presence on the ballot and his responses to questions on international affairs showcased the dynamic nature of his interactions with the media.
Q MR. PRESIDENT, WHAT — DO YOU HOLD IRAN RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATH OF THE THREE AMERICANS?
Q HAVE YOU MADE A DECISION HOW YOU’LL RESPOND TO THE ATTACKS?
THE PRESIDENT: YES.
Q AND —
Q MR. PRESIDENT, DO YOU HOLD IRAN RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATH OF THOSE THREE AMERICANS?
THE PRESIDENT: I DO HOLD RESPON- — THEM RESPONSIBLE IN THE SENSE THAT THEY’RE SUPPLYING THE WEAPONS TO THE PEOPLE WHO DID IT.
Q BUT DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE?
THE PRESIDENT: WELL, WE’LL HAVE THAT DISCUSSION.
Q (INAUDIBLE) HAVE NOT DETERRED THESE ATTACKS IN THE PAST. WHAT WILL BE DIFFERENT THIS TIME?
THE PRESIDENT: WE’LL SEE.
Q MR. PRESIDENT, (INAUDIBLE) ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT A REGIONAL WAR IN THE MI- — A WIDER WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST? HOW WORRIED ARE YOU?
THE PRESIDENT: I DON’T THINK WE NEED A WIDER WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST. THAT’S NOT WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR.
Q SHOULD DONALD TRUMP BE ALLOWED ON THE BALLOT? SHOULD DONALD TRUMP BE ALLOWED ON THE BALLOT?
THE PRESIDENT: AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED, THAT’S FINE.
Q WHY IS HE LEADING IN THE POLLS IF HE IS A THREAT TO DEMOCRACY, AS YOU SAY?
THE PRESIDENT: BECAUSE GUYS LIKE YOU. (LAUGHS.)
Q WHAT AM I DOING? COME ON.
Q MR. PRESIDENT —
THE PRESIDENT: I’M TEASING, MAN! I’M TEASING. IT’S EARLY.
Q MR. PRESIDENT, ON THE BORDER. HAVE YOU DONE EVERYTHING YOU CAN DO WITH EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY? OR IS THERE MORE YOU COULD DO ABSENT (INAUDIBLE)?
THE PRESIDENT: I’VE DONE ALL I CAN DO. JUST GIVE ME THE POWER. I’VE ASKED FROM THE VERY DAY I GOT INTO OFFICE. GIVE ME THE BORDER PATROL. GIVE ME THE PEOPLE — GIVE ME THE PEOPLE, THE JUDGES. GIVE ME THE PEOPLE WHO CAN STOP THIS AND MAKE IT WORK RIGHT.
Q ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT THE POSSIBLE ESCALATION IN THE MILITARY INVOLVEMENT IN THE MIDDLE EAST? WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THOSE IN YOUR PARTY?
THE PRESIDENT: (INAUDIBLE.) WE’LL SEE.