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Isa Soares Tonight

White House Press Secretary on Biden's Candidacy and Health; President Biden Not Dropping Out of the Race. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired July 03, 2024 - 14:00:00   ET



KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: A lot of his -- was on his agenda is very much popular with majority of the American people,

whether it's continuing to build a strong economic -- kind of economic policies, he's done that, creating new jobs, he's done that, 15 million

jobs, he wants to work on that and continue to do that.

And so, he wants to continue to deliver, expanding healthcare, all of these things he believes is important, majority of Americans believe it's

important. And his record, he wants to make sure that people do not forget about the record that he's been able to lay on behalf of the American


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there anything, Karine, that would change his mind?

JEAN-PIERRE: Look, I cannot lay out something that would change the president's mind. He has been very clear and he's going to continue to

build on the unprecedented record that he's been able to lay out for the American people. That's his focus right now.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you Karine. What does the president do outside the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.?

JEAN-PIERRE: Well, you heard him speak to supporters yesterday outside at 4:00 p.m. You've heard -- you saw the president land in North Carolina in

the middle of the night at 2 O'clock. What was he doing? He was greeting supporters, hundreds of supporters that showed up to cheer him on after the


You saw him speaking at 9 O'clock at night in New York in front of supporters, so, he's been pretty much out there after the hours of 4:00

p.m. and before 10:00 a.m. for sure. And so, that has been something he has consistently done over the past couple of days for sure, for certain.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have an afternoon nap every day.

JEAN-PIERRE: Let me be very clear about this. This is a president that wakes up every morning and puts the American people first. That's what he

does. He does that every single day. That is his focus. I am not going to speak to sources out there, unnamed sources out there.

That's not what I'm going to speak to. I'm going to speak to what I know, what this president does, and how he is committed to the work of the

president, of the commander-in-chief. And his record clearly lays that -- lays that out, and speaks to it. And that's what he's going to continue to

do. The American people first, the American people first, and delivering for them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you also clarify Sandman's(ph) question --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How is it that the president was still tired 12 days after returning from Europe, had a cold, but then went to the Waffle House,

and then the following day staged such a huge comeback that he gave those North Carolina remarks. Like help us understand --

JEAN-PIERRE: Have you had a cold before?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Of course, I've had a cold --



JEAN-PIERRE: So, you probably -- well, come on, come on, Jackie(ph), let's be very -- let's make --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just 12 days, how he returned though --

JEAN-PIERRE: Wait, you also --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And you said jetlagged yesterday?

JEAN-PIERRE: Hold on a second. There's a cold, there's a jetlag, you combine that, he continues to work on the -- for the American people day-

in-and-day out around the clock. Things happen. Things happen. And the cold thing is something that you all pointed out during his debate.

We didn't even point that out. You all pointed that when you heard his voice being hoarse, because he knew he had to push through. He knew he has

to power through. That's what presidents do. If you care about this country, you don't care about yourself, you care about the American people.

You care about delivering for this country. You care about how you're going to continue to work every day in and day out, you push through. We've all -

- we've all -- we all do that --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Has all these Democrats --

JEAN-PIERRE: We all do that --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who are saying they want to see him --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It takes -- speak to that --

JEAN-PIERRE: But we're not -- we're not -- we're not -- we didn't share that information ahead of time. You all asked what was going on? And then

we shared that information. We didn't use that -- we didn't use that before the debate. You all asked, hey, is he under the weather? And we confirmed

that he was under the weather. He pushed through.

That's what this president does. He is going to continue to fight for the American people. So, he pushed through it. I think -- I think anybody who

does that, not just the president should be commended. And he also said -- you heard him say this on Friday, when you get knocked down, you get back

up. That's what you saw.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is there any discussion that if the president were to suspend his campaign, that he would also resign? Is there -- are there any

discussions about --

JEAN-PIERRE: No, absolute not --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Vice President assuming his duties?

JEAN-PIERRE: Absolutely not. Go ahead Kelly(ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does the president have a duty to review data like polling information that's coming in, donor information? The fears and

concerns or anxieties expressed by Democrats, does he have a duty to review what's happening now?

JEAN-PIERRE: When you say a duty, can you say more about the duty, please?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's absolutely running?

JEAN-PIERRE: Yes, well, he's saying that, and I'm sharing -- I'm sharing with you his view --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we would invite the president to come here and tell us that --



JEAN-PIERRE: Noted. Kelly(ph) --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If he's awake --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's inappropriate.

JEAN-PIERRE: As you heard from your colleague, the president of WTA, that's inappropriate. Thank you, Kelly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question is information is coming in, an assessment is happening within the party. Does he have a duty to review

that? Has he closed the door on reviewing the data?

JEAN-PIERRE: So, I'm going to be really mindful, obviously, you're asking me about campaign numbers and data that's coming in. And look, what I will

-- what I will note is that this is a president that looks at everything, takes in all the information. It's important to him to do so. I don't want

to get into hypotheticals here.

That's not what I'm here to do. What I can say is, in this moment, we move forward on building on this unprecedented record that the president has

been able to lay out for the American people, and that's going to be our focus. I don't want to get into hypotheticals. I don't want to get ahead

into anything else --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sound like closing the door to reviewing this over a period of time.

JEAN-PIERRE: What I can say is the president is moving forward. He's moving forward as being president. He's moving forward with his campaign,

as his campaign has been very clear about that. That's what I can -- that's what I can speak to, and that's what I can say. And that is the president's


The President's focus is how does he continue to do that work? And anything else that we're hearing or that's being reported is absolutely false.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is the president telling people he is evaluating the --

JEAN-PIERRE: After a race --


JEAN-PIERRE: Absolutely false. That is absolutely false. I saw that reporting, we were not given enough time to get back to that reporting,

just a couple of minutes, and we asked the president, the president responded directly when asked about this question, because we said that we

would, and the president said it is no, it is absolutely false. That's coming directly from him --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What steps -- what steps would the president be taking or would you as a team plan to try to prevent another episode in

public that would be deemed worrisome?

JEAN-PIERRE: I would not call it an episode, I would call it, we had a bad night, right? It was not his best night. He had a cold. He was jet-lagged.

You heard directly from the president about this. And when we get back -- when we get knocked down, when he gets knocked down, he gets right back up.

And that's what I would -- that's what I would focus on. The president continuing to be very steady and continuing to work on for the American

people. OK --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just a follow-up on Kelly's(ph) question. Do you think the president feels like the coming days are very critical for him as he --

you know, you laid out all these events that he's going to be doing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are these -- are these events very important for him to show to the American people that he still has the ability to be the


JEAN-PIERRE: I would say that this moment is critical regardless of the debate or not. We are living in an important moment right now, everything

is at stake. And I've got to be mindful because this is all connected to what's happening in November. And I think any leader would say they always

have to prove to themselves to -- you know, to their constituents, right?

It is a day-in-and-day-out work. And yes, the President is going to have engagements, he's going to be out there speaking to the American people,

obviously, we mentioned Wisconsin. He's going to do an interview in Wisconsin as well. We talked about Pennsylvania, but the President was also

out last week, Atlanta, North Carolina, New York, where he saw supporters.

This is a President that has been consistently out there talking directly to the American people. He understands as you all ask me about the economy

and what people are feeling, he understands that they have to hear directly from him and he has to continue to do that, so that he can lay out his


He can lay out what he wants to continue to do. It's always going to be part of, you know, the calculation, right? To continue to prove to the

American people that he can continue to do the work and deliver for the -- for him on behalf -- deliver on behalf of the American people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just had the staff meeting today --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you just give us a rundown of really what he tried to get across. And is there a morale issue in the way --

JEAN-PIERRE: Yes, it's a fair question, and I do have a couple of things I want to say as you just said, the chief of staff Jeff Zients did have all-

staff call. He wanted to gather the team across the building and acknowledge what the president said himself, right? That the last few days

have been challenging.

We've been very clear and acknowledging, enlarging that. But we have had an extraordinary record to be proud of, and we know we have more work to do.

President says that all the time. He can fake -- convey the importance of executing on our mission. He talked about the importance of coming together

as a team and also having each other's backs.

And so, look, he also said, which I think was really important, and I think every staff wants to hear that the chief of staff's door is open, and is

open to hearing directly from them, any questions or any concerns.


And you know, I think that's what you do as a leader. Kath(ph) --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks Karine. If there's so many questions right now about whether President Biden can do this job. Why are we not seeing the

President out there every single day in an unscripted way without teleprompters?

JEAN-PIERRE: Well, you're going to see him today, certainly. And I know you're asking about the teleprompter. You're going to see him tomorrow,

right? For the July -- he'll have an opportunity to welcome active duty military and their families, and certainly their loved ones here on the

South Lawn as he does every year.

And I think that's going to be important. He'll be able to engage with them and thank them directly. And you'll see him in Wisconsin and you'll

continue to see him obviously in the upcoming weeks. Look, it is not unusual for a President to use a teleprompter. It isn't. It is not unusual.

That is something that Presidents have done in the past.

I think what we also have to remember now, I keep saying this because I think it's important to not forget that he has the strongest economic

recovery in modern -- in modern history. He has led historic midterm win when everybody was talking about a red wave, and he was -- been able to

defy that and deliver by leading -- by being a leader, right?

Adversely doing the midterms as a Democratic leader. And he's going to continue to work to get lower costs. I think that matters. I think his

record certainly matters. And you are going to see him, continue to see him, you know, having interviews. He's going to do 'ABC" as you know with

George Stephanopoulos, one of your colleagues.

That's not scripted. And he has done more than 40 interviews that have not been scripted. Interviews do not have a script this year alone. So, you'll

see him out there connecting with the -- engaging with the American people. And I think that's important.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But again, we're now almost a week after the debate. Why doesn't the President just come here right now and answer for himself

at this briefing room all the questions that we have?

JEAN-PIERRE: Well, you asked me a couple of things. You asked when is he going to be unscripted. He has been when he went to visit a diner in a

couple of days ago at the Waffle House when he met with -- met with some of the supporters in Atlanta, North Carolina, where hundreds of supporters

showed up.

He certainly had an opportunity to engage on Friday. He's going to be taking some questions from one of your colleagues. I think that's going to

be important and we're going to continue to engage with all of you. We're going to certainly looking forward to doing that. He'll have a press

conference next week, a NATO press conference, a big boy press conference as Justin from "Bloomberg" stated yesterday. And so, we'll do that, and

he's looking forward to it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And Karine, President --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Biden has always promised to tell the American people the truth. So, can you be straight with us --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the American people, is the president clear-eyed about what it takes to stay in the race, and what it would take for him to

drop out?

JEAN-PIERRE: The President is clear-eyed and he is staying in the race. I don't have anything else beyond that. He is staying, he's staying in the

race. That is what the president has promised to do. That is what he wants to continue to work on the successes that he's had, his record is

unprecedented record, and that is what the president is focused on continuing to deliver for the American people, and looks forward to doing

that. Go ahead, Joanita(ph) --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The NATO Summit is coming up next week. Is he president frustrated that this debate over the presidential election could

cast a shadow over your goals for the NATO Summit. Has he made any effort to reach out to the NATO leaders that will be coming to sort of assure them

that, this isn't going to derail that agenda?

JEAN-PIERRE: So, look, as you stated next week, the President is going to host the NATO Summit here in Washington D.C., it is also the 75th-year

anniversary of NATO, and let's not forget, NATO has become stronger and has gained two more countries because of this president's leadership, in all

very much important in doing so was very much important in stopping and helping to stop Putin's aggression as Ukraine continues to fight certainly

for their freedom and democracy.

Look, foreign leaders have seen the president close-up. They have. And, you know, and close up and personally for the past three years. And I think

that's important to know. They know who they are dealing with and how effective he has been. I just talked about how NATO has expanded because of

his leadership.

How NATO is stronger because of his leadership. And I think that's important to note as well. And so, look, you're going to see the President,

you know, being a leader in front of the -- in front of these world leaders. You're going to see the President continue to bring these world

leaders together.


And as it relates to what's happening currently, you heard directly from this President, he understands the criticism, he gets the criticism, he has

owned up to it. But he also wants to move forward and continuing to deliver on really critical, important issues that the American people care about.

When you think about NATO, you think about foreign policy. It is important to continue our world leadership on that, being leaders and strengthening

our national security as well. And that is how the President thinks about this day-in-and-day-out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just want to follow --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Which on the kind of questions about the outreach from the White House.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does the president intend to make any other calls --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The number of ones that he's made today to the congressional leadership? And then, you know, Representative Doggett said

he reached out to the White House before he made his comments, and did not hear back. He said --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He wanted to speak to President Biden personally about his concerns.

JEAN-PIERRE: Yes, look, I can't speak to the outreach that he made. I have not spoken to the Office of Leg Affairs, so I can't speak to that. What I

can say is the President certainly has looked forward to working with Democratic leaders and congressional members over the past three years.


JEAN-PIERRE: I keep talking about his record. Certainly his record, when it comes to legislation and getting things done, he couldn't have done it

without Democrats like Doggett, and appreciates his -- obviously his support and his partnership. I can't speak to outreach, it's not something

that -- I've spoken to the Office of Leg Affairs about, and look, the President --



JEAN-PIERRE: You want to take that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe you got it --

JEAN-PIERRE: Yes, maybe, he sees like you just brought me up in the briefing room, I have something to say. I would also note that I don't have

any additional calls to read out or to lay out. One of the reasons that I mentioned it at the top because I know some of you were trying to confirm

and wanted to make sure that we got to you -- got back to you all of you about that.

And as you know, he's going to meet with Democratic governors as I just stated at the top. So, he's going to continue to do engagement. It is

important summit -- again, some of these leaders, he could not have delivered on this record -- on this record accomplishment that he's been

able to get done without them. And so, I'll just leave it there for now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that -- I think the question --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That we're all asking --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In different ways, in different -- is, has the President and has the White House, have you sort of missed the boat in

terms of responding quickly enough? I mean, I spoke to someone today who said it was too little, too late.

JEAN-PIERRE: Quickly enough on what specifically?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In explaining and discussing what happened at the debate --

JEAN-PIERRE: But what --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And reassuring donors --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And other people that, you know, he intends to keep running.

JEAN-PIERRE: Look, as it relates to donors or anything political like that, it's obviously something that the campaign should respond to. But I

would remind you that the day after in North Carolina, the President spoke to his debate performance. He did. He talked about it. He gave, you know,

his thoughts.

He also stated that, look, I'm not as young -- I'm not a young man. He said that I'm not as smooth talker as I used to be. I don't walk easily as I

used to be and I don't debate as well as I used to. He said this. And so, he owned up to it in -- on Friday, the day after the debate, that


And so, we didn't wait. Now, as far as engagement, look, that is something certainly the campaign can speak to more. But the President in front of

hundreds of supporters in North Carolina talked about his debate performance. So, go ahead, MJ.

MIN JUNG LEE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Thank you Karine. I just wanted to clarify one thing, I know you've got a lot of questions about

this issue --


LEE: Yesterday.


LEE: Has the President had any medical exams since his last annual physical in February?

JEAN-PIERRE: And got -- we were able to talk to his doctor about that, and that is a no.

LEE: You have no any kind of medical exam?


LEE: So, the White House has said no to releasing the full results of that annual, said no to making Dr. O'Connor available for questions from us.

No, to releasing any other information that would shed some more light on the president's health. I guess I'm just wondering if now is not the time

for full transparency, when is?

JEAN-PIERRE: So, I would say, MJ, to your question that, what we have released over the past three years, every year since he's been in office

has been transparent and it has been comprehensive. It has been one of the most transparent --we have been one of the most transparent administration

when it comes to medical records.

That is -- that is what we've been able to do. And I would add that it is not -- it is not the norm to bring the doctor to the podium, that is not

the norm, and we have owned up -- this President directly has owned up to what happened at the debate last Thursday.


He's talked about it multiple times and directly to supporters, directly to the American people. And what we want to do is continue to certainly

deliver on the, you know, the record accomplishments as we've been able to do.

LEE: I understand that you feel like the White House has been thorough in the medical records that you all have. At least, for obviously, you're

getting these questions in large part because of what we saw for 90 minutes on Thursday night, and people's responses to what they saw, right? A lot of

people expressing shock. So, why not release more information? What would be the downside?

JEAN-PIERRE: Look, what I can tell you is that we have been transparent, we'll continue to be transparent, and that's what I can -- that's what I

can share with all of you at this time.

LEE: And I do want to follow up on --


LEE: What someone brought up, I think others as well. You did get numerous questions yesterday --


LEE: About the president's debate performance. You didn't mention travel - -


LEE: The jetlag, the foreign trips. So, I think you can understand why it was a little bit puzzling to hear the president mentioning that as his

explanation --


LEE: For the first time last night. I'm just --


LEE: Can you clarify whether when you took the podium yesterday --


LEE: Did you not know that, that was --


LEE: After --

JEAN-PIERRE: And I was saying that is my bad. That is part of -- that is part of -- definitely part of the explanation of what had occurred. I did

know that. I did know that --

LEE: You didn't --

JEAN-PIERRE: I did. I did know that. But we were so focused. I was so focused on the call -- on the cold, and that's what I kind of leaned into

and talked about. But yes, his schedule did have something to do with it. It was the schedule and the cold, and I did. I was aware of that yesterday.

LEE: Can I just ask --

JEAN-PIERRE: Yes, sure --

LEE: One other broader question. The president -- and I know you will remember this, back in 2020 referred to himself as a transition candidate,

he also said back then that he would be a bridge to the next generation of Democratic leaders. Does he still believe that?

JEAN-PIERRE: Yes, I mean, I think his statement stands. I mean, one of the reasons why he picked the Vice President Kamala Harris is because she is

indeed the future of the party. And he's very proud to have partnered with her and continue to partner with her in delivering an unprecedented record

for the American people.

And I think he's going to continue certainly to do that, they're going to do that as partners. Like I said, I just saw them before walking into the

briefing room, we -- they stopped by to talk to me and my team and they're ready to go. They're ready to continue.

LEE: So, the transition would happen in eight years and it's now four --

JEAN-PIERRE: I mean, I'm not -- I'm not going to get into speculation from here. But you asked me if that his remarks and statements still stands,

yes, it still does. Michael --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks Karine. If President Biden was fatigued during the debate because of overseas travel that was 12 days beforehand like he

said last night, doesn't that raise questions about his ability to effectively serve another second-term until he's 86 years old --

JEAN-PIERRE: I mean, look, I think there's multiple factors here to consider. There was the travel, the travel led to a cold, and I think that

matters as well. And I think we've all been there. We've all been there. It is not unusual, and what the President did is he pushed through. He did. He

pushed forward and he pushed through. And that's what you saw him do.

And look, you know, you heard me say this yesterday, and you heard directly from the President say this multiple times, when you get knocked down, you

get back up. Joe Biden is someone who has faced, you know, tragedies and he's taken them on. And when he does that, he gets right back up. And

that's how we see that day -- that's how we see that night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Anyway, what was his message to congressional leaders today? I mean, is he trying to instill confidence in them that -- in them

that he can run effectively for his re-election. Was that the purpose of --


JEAN-PIERRE: So, look, I'm not going to get into certainly private conversations he had -- he shared with me. Those conversations were strong,

and I think that's important to note. I'm not going to go into details, but the President is going to, you know, continue to have those direct

conversations with leaders, with supporters. And he believes that's important to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you all united with him in the call?

JEAN-PIERRE: They continue to be united, and some of them have spoken to this. They've been very clear, has spoken, have gone on television, spoken

to some of you in your reporting and said that very clearly. OK.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your contents playing out. Can you share any details on President Biden's and Vice President Harris' watched today? Do you know

if they discussed Vice President Harris potentially taking over? Do you know if that came up today?

JEAN-PIERRE: I mean, I just stated that the president has -- is not dropping out. That's something that the campaign has shared. So, I'm just

repeating what the campaign has shared. They regularly have lunch and I'm not going to get into private conversation.


And I would also say that the Vice President spoke to "CBS" just yesterday and you could see what she said herself, and I think that's important to

note as well.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I just also want to ask, you mentioned that President Biden got the cold because of traveling. So, is cold directly

tied to him traveling or is it just he got the cold permanently?

JEAN-PIERRE: What I can tell you is he traveled, then he got a cold. That's what happened. Yes, Michael.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks, Karine. You mentioned a few times that the President is proud of his record, he wants to continue his work and

building on that record.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm trying to understand how that's relevant to an assessment -- self reflection by him on whether or not he's physically

capable or pretend to be --

JEAN-PIERRE: I think it is an assessment. I think the fact that he's able to work across the aisle, get really big bipartisan legislation done. He's

been able to get us out of the pandemic, able to get the economy back on its feet. I think that shows leadership, and I think that's important,


He is making these decisions on behalf of the American people. And he's able to do that because of his experience, because of his wisdom. And I

think that all -- that's all connected as well. We can't forget that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Building on Kelly Kent's (ph) --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Question on self-reflection by the President. And you've mentioned as well that he understands the stakes in the election,

and if the data is showing that he may be leading the party toward, you know, electoral disaster. Is there not going to be reflection at the --

JEAN-PIERRE: Look, right now, I've got to be really mindful. You're asking about a campaign, you're asking about data that's connected to the

campaign. I want to be really mindful here. And it's also hypothetical. And so, also want to be really mindful here.

What I can say is right now, and where the President is, he has continued, he is continuing to fight for the American people, continue to build an

economy that works for all, continue to create good-paying jobs, expand health care. That is the President's focus. That is the President's focus.

Anything else related to the campaign? I would refer you to the campaign to speak to that directly as it relates to data, that is not something that I

can -- I can't be a pundit from here. Getsa (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, thanks, Karine. I have two questions from Bolivia. First, former President of Bolivia, Evo Morales and also Argentine

President Javier Milei have accused President Luis Arce of aging himself too last week. Does the administration believe in any evidence if this was

the case?

JEAN-PIERRE: So, look, I want to be really mindful here. We have seen the false allegations of U.S. involvement in the events of Bolivia on June

26th. I know that's something that has come up a couple of times. And so want to make sure that it is clear that the U.S. had no involvement in


Look, we certainly condemn, strongly condemn the deployment of army units in Bolivia and any attempt to subvert a constitutional order. And we're

going to continue. And I said this last week, we're going to continue or the week before, I stand by democracy and the people of Bolivia.

And that is -- that is where we're going to continue to stand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I have another --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With the U.S. government and the Venezuelan government, we're assuming negotiations today. I wanted to get -- if you can give us

like a fewer picture of what entails and how far the U.S. government is willing to go? So, two questions on that.

Will the U.S. government be willing to alleviate sanctions? And is there any plan for Maduro to step down from power without fear of continuing

legal prosecution?

JEAN-PIERRE: So, to your question about the dialogue that's happening. We certainly welcome that in good faith, right? The dialogue in good faith, so

we welcome that. We're clear-eyed the Democratic change will not be easy and requires serious commitment.

So, we remain committed to supporting the will of the people of Venezuela and a path to our Democratic governance via competitive and also inclusive

elections. Any specific details about that? I don't have any share -- to share about the diplomatic engagement, but we certainly welcome it in good

faith, and that's what we want to see.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much, Karine. I just also want to --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The President made yesterday at the fundraiser. He said that he didn't listen to his staff. So, what kind of advice did he

get? Because it gives the impression that his staff is asking him to, you know, slow down or maybe cancel some trips or have a lighter schedule.

JEAN-PIERRE: Look, I didn't get into the President specifically about what he meant by that. So, I want to be really mindful. I don't want to get into



But I think what the president was trying to say is that he had a schedule that was rigorous. You know, the travel that he had to do, crossing

multiple, obviously -- you know, going from Italy all the way to the West Coast. And I think, as you know, that can be -- that can have a toll on

anyone, whether you're 20 or 80. That could have a toll on you.

And so, I think that's what he was alluding to, speaking to. I don't want to go beyond that because I haven't spoken to him on the other component of

when he was speaking about his staff. But as it relates to, certainly, the travel, it was rigorous. He had a rigorous travel.

We talk about it sometimes. I think I've just mentioned this to some of your -- with some of your colleagues that he has a -- especially when he

travels abroad, it's a pretty rigorous travel. We get tired looking at him doing his meetings and traveling. And so, I think that's what he was

speaking to. And I don't think it has a toll on -- regardless of what age you are, it has a toll on you, that type of travel. OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. There's no question that international travel can be rigorous. I think the confusion is that he's still suffering

from the effects of that nearly two weeks later. So, I -- can you articulate a little bit about like, do you guys usually have accommodations

for him after he does a trip, that he's going to have jet lag for that long a period of time?

JEAN-PIERRE: So, can you -- when you say two weeks later, what do you mean?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, the debate -- he arrives back in the United States 12 or 13 days before the debate. So, his explanation for a poor

debate performance is jet lag.

JEAN-PIERRE: So, what I want to say is -- it's the jet lag and also the cold, right? It is the two things and -- that occurred. And you all heard

it in his voice when he did the debate, right? And it is not even something that we shared ahead of time. You heard it in his voice and we confirmed

it. And I think that's important to note as well. Like it is the jet lag and the cold.

But I want to be really clear here. This is not an excuse, right? This is not an excuse. You all asked for an explanation, and we're giving you an

explanation. It is not an excuse. I don't want that to be the leading piece of this.

As for the only reason we're sharing this, because it was asked of me here, and the president certainly wanted to give an explanation himself, and

that's what he did yesterday. We want to -- we understand that it wasn't his best night. It wasn't a great debate. We understand that, and we

understand what supporters saw, what the American people saw, and what you all saw. And so, we wanted to give an explanation.

So, I don't want to get into this, are you giving this excuse, not an excuse? We're giving you what our explanation was. We want to continue to

make sure that we do everything that we can to deliver for the American people. That's what we're going to continue to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I also wanted to ask just about the schedule again.

JEAN-PIERRE: Yes, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because a lot of high-level Democrats, I think, were concerned with the debate performance, but they've also been almost just as

or more concerned about the response since then, that he hasn't done more. He spoke for four minutes in public on Monday evening on the Supreme Court

decision. And he spoke for about 10 minutes in public yesterday with the emergency weather situation.

JEAN-PIERRE: And he's going to speak today. He's going to go to Wisconsin. He's going to go to Pennsylvania. But --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But if this truly is an emergency situation, it's taking almost a week for him to sort of address it. When there's natural

disasters, when there's other things happening, he wants to get in front of the cameras and speak to it. In this case, there seems to be multiple days

for that to happen.

JEAN-PIERRE: Matt, I would disagree with you. He did address it. He addressed it on Friday, in North Carolina, in front of hundreds of

supporters. He addressed it. And he talked about an issue that you all ask me about all the time, his age. Like, he took it head on. Literally head

on. He didn't run away from it. He didn't hide from it.

He said, I am not a young man, obviously. I'm not as a good debater as I used to be. I don't talk as smooth. I don't talk as -- I don't walk as

easily as I used to. He said it himself to hundreds of supporters in North Carolina. So, I would disagree that he didn't take this head on. He did. He

did. He talked about it in front of supporters, who -- which -- by the way --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's had one instance with that and he's called six people --

JEAN-PIERRE: But by the way, that matters, right? Engaging with the American people and standing in front of them and being honest about that,

and talking about age. Again, something that you all ask me about all the time. He took that right on.

Now, he is talking and engaging with leaders, that is something that he's doing. He's having good conversations with them. He's going to meet with

Democratic governors, people who -- governors who he believes have been really strong partners with him and delivering on some of these historic



But, you know, I would, you know, disagree on him not taking this head on. I mean, talking -- going -- being in North Carolina and taking that head

on. Obviously, that's not the speech that he was going to give on Thursday, right, before the debate. So, he understood, right, when he got to North

Carolina that he needed to address it. And he decided to do it in front of supporters. And he talked about it.

I'm going to go to the back. I'm going to come -- go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks. Thanks, Karine. I want to go back to the NATO meeting if I could.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The polling this week shows the president losing more ground in the American eyes over immigration, over economy, and foreign

policy. So, does that, with everything else, diminish the position of the president as these NATO leaders are coming in for those meetings?

JEAN-PIERRE: No, I don't think so. I don't think so. And I said this moments ago when I was answering a question of one of your colleagues.

These foreign leaders have seen the president personally, up close, for the past three years. They have talked about his leadership. They have

commended his leadership. They have been proud to see him as the president of the United States after what they experienced in the last


They have -- some of them have been even quoted about what the president has been able to do during his past three years. German Chancellor Scholz,

I think that the -- that Joe Biden is someone who is very clear, who knows exactly what he is doing and who is one of the most experienced politicians

in the world, especially when it comes to international politics.

The prime minister of Israel, Bibi Netanyahu, I have had more than a dozen phone conversations, extended phone conversations with President Biden. He

has also came -- he also came on a visit to Israel during wartime, which is a historic first. I found him very clear and very focused.

I mean, these are leaders that he has had extensive engagement with over the past three years. They have seen him up close and personal. The

president looks very -- very much looks forward to hosting NATO next week.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me ask you about the Supreme Court quickly. So, the comments that the president made on Monday, does the president respect the

authority of the Supreme Court?

JEAN-PIERRE: Here's what I will say. The president has spoken often, very powerfully, about the events on of January 6, he has, and his views on what

happened on that day. And what you heard from the president Monday night, he wasn't supposed to speak, he came back, he saw -- he felt so strongly

about the decision from the Supreme Court that he came back early and wanted to speak directly to the American people. And that's what he did. It

was that significant.

He believed his president of the United States to speak directly to the American people. And he said this is a dangerous precedent. It is. It's a

dangerous precedent. He also said and laid out that the Supreme Court has continued to take away long established freedoms and norms, including a

woman's right to choose, and now threatening the fundamental American principle that no one is above the law.

And so, this is why the president came back, and that's what he spoke out about, and he fears for our democracy and he knows that we must do

everything that we can to fight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But he can disagree with the ruling. Does he respect the authority?

JEAN-PIERRE: He respects the authority of the Supreme Court. And like you just said in your question, he disagrees with the ruling. Absolutely. It is

unprecedented. It is dangerous. And that's why the president wanted to make sure that the American people heard directly from him. Go ahead, Raquel


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Karine. I want to do a follow up about the lines that you are just reading on foreign leaders, because it seems like

this perception has changed after the debate.

JEAN-PIERRE: You mean the quotes that I was laying out for all of you from chancellor --


JEAN-PIERRE: -- and the prime minister?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because talking to diplomats here in D.C., they're telling me that the --

JEAN-PIERRE: Diplomats or leaders of countries?


JEAN-PIERRE: OK. No, I know I just wanted to make sure.


JEAN-PIERRE: I mean, I was talking about the leaders.


JEAN-PIERRE: No, I hear you, but I'm talking about the leaders who have been on the record.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, but after the debate, what they're saying that, after the debate, a lot of countries are worried about the future of the

U.S. and that it is a scary and embarrassing time for the country and that the U.S. leadership is at stake.

And one said, imagine the Watch Party in Beijing and Moscow. So, are they right to be worried?

JEAN-PIERRE: Look, there's a lot at stake. There's a lot at stake right now. There is. And I think that's why the president fights day in and day

out on behalf of the American people. I got to be careful, because you're kind of -- they're worried about, I'm assuming the election, and what's

going to happen. So, I don't want to speak to that. But what I can say more broadly, there is a lot at stake.

And we see that. We see that with Roe being overturned, the Dobbs decision. We see that with what happened on January 6th. Our democracy and freedoms

are at stake. And not only do diplomats and world leaders care about that, Americans here, at home, care about that. That is something that they worry

about, and that is something that the president is going to continue to fight for.


I'm going to be careful. I can't, you know, get into hypotheticals what will happen. There's obviously an election going on. But there is indeed a

lot at stake. And we talk about this all the time. Democracy, freedoms, a woman's right to choose. That is important. That is important to fight for.

And what Republicans are trying to do. Extreme Republicans in Congress are trying to do. Put three national bans on abortion. That's what the type of

legislation that they want to push forward. So, we disagree with that. We're going to stand with the majority of Americans.

Go ahead, Parrish (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Karine. Two questions. One on NATO. So, on next week's summit, does the president schedule any important ballots with

the bilaterals, with the leaders, especially including Turkish President Erdogan?

The second question is, we know China have been causing a lot of conflicts in South China Sea, Taiwan Strait and East Sea. Yesterday, we saw Chinese

Coast Guard ship harass Japanese ship near Senkaku Islands. Also detained a Taiwanese fish boat at Taiwan Strait. What is the White House reaction to

those comments?

JEAN-PIERRE: So, on the fish boat, we're obviously closely monitoring the incident. So, we're going to continue to do that. And as far any bilateral

meetings, I don't have anything to read out to you at this time. I believe NSC is going to do a call on Friday to talk through what next week is going

to look like with the NATO Summit being here in D.C. So, I would say, you know, stay tuned, look out for that.

And we'll have more to share. And obviously, when there is a bilateral meeting, we certainly share that with all of you. I just don't have

anything to preview at this time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I follow up? Has the U.S. reached out to Japan and Taiwan to offer support over those incidents with China?

JEAN-PIERRE: Well, I don't have any calls, obviously, to speak to at this time, but we encourage both sides to maintain open lines of communication

so they can get to a resolution here. And that's what we call for. OK. Oh. No, go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks, Karine. I just wanted to get to your answer to Raquel (ph) a few moments ago, you talked about there being a lot at stake,

you know, which I think millions --

JEAN-PIERRE: Yes. I'm trying to be mindful. So -- but --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm also trying to figure the question in a way that you can --

JEAN-PIERRE: I appreciate that. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I think millions and millions of Americans would agree with that assessment, that there's a lot at stake.

JEAN-PIERRE: Yes, and I, and I agree. That's what I said. It's not just diplomats, but it's also Americans here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. And the president and you and others in the administration have acknowledged he didn't have a good night at the debate.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is -- within his reaction to his own performance, does he think he let people down?

JEAN-PIERRE: Look, this is certainly a president that I will say -- and if you know Joe Biden, you know him as a senator and as a vice president, he's

very sensitive to how people feel, right? And he's very aware of that. I think he has that I.Q. that is certainly incredibly important as a

president to be able to feel people's pains, feel people's concern, and be able to listen to them directly. And you see that. You see him do that on a

day -- on a -- anytime you see him engage with everyday people, Americans. And I think that's what makes this president so unique. And I think, also,

because he's dealt with so much tragedy and knows what that feels like.

And, you know, I have not asked him specifically that question. But he understands the concerns. He understands what people saw. And that's why

he's spoken to it multiple times. And he's spoken about his age, for example, multiple times, not just this past Friday. And he gets it. He gets

it. We get it. And so, what we're going to do is continue -- to continue to look forward, continue to work on behalf of the American people.

And there is a record here. There is a record here that we can speak to. There is a record here that matters to majority of Americans. We were able

to turn some things around, whether it's the pandemic, the economy, expanding health care, all of those things matter to the American people.

And so, that's going to be certainly our focus.

But, you know, the president gets it, guys. He does. He gets what people saw and how people felt. I got -- no, but I can't -- I really, really can't

-- I got to continue taking questions from the back. And I'm already being pulled. Go ahead, Phil. I'm already being pulled.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. I wanted to ask you about some of the things the president said last week.

JEAN-PIERRE: Last week?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obviously, 13 U.S. servicemembers died at Abbey Gate during the Afghanistan withdrawal. And then, this year, three U.S.

servicemembers died in a drone attack in Jordan. And yet, the president said, "He's the only president this century, this decade, that doesn't have

any troops dying anywhere in the world like he did." I get having a bad night, but how did the president get that so wrong?


JEAN-PIERRE: So, I appreciate the question, I really do, and I was asked about this, I believe, in the gaggle on Friday, I believe. And I said this,

and I'll just reiterate this now, and again, I appreciate the opportunity. Look, the president cares deeply about our service members. He does. And

their families, their immense sacrifices that they've made to take on the - - and he takes on his responsibility as a commander in chief, and that is something that certainly he will continue to do.

I mentioned moments ago that tomorrow, on July 4th, he's going to have active military members here and their families to thank them personally.

And obviously, they make sacrifice -- their families make sacrifices as well. And as you know, he attended the dignified transfer of the 13, as you

just mentioned, brave service members who lost their lives in Afghanistan on August 26 in 2021 and as well as the three who lost their lives in

Jordan earlier this year.

I was there with the president, and you can see how much it -- how important he understood it was for him to be there for that moment, to be

there for the families. And so, I just want to be really clear about that because he has so much gratitude and we know that, as a country, we can

never repay them for their courage.

But to your question the president was making a comparison between how many service members have died under his leadership versus in previous years.

That's what the comparison that he was making and he is doing -- he was doing that because he cares so deeply. He cares so deeply about them and

their families and wants to keep troops safe. And that's what he certainly wants to continue to do.

Let's not forget that for some time he carried a card in his pocket about how many service members were wounded and killed in Iraq and in

Afghanistan. That's how much -- it was a reminder to him, you know, the times that we live in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, this president said this century, this decade. But setting that aside, maybe on a different front here, what was the

president trying to say when he said that he beat Medicare?

JEAN-PIERRE: He meant to say he beat Big Pharma. I mean, that's what he meant to say.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then, finally, you have more isnteraction with the president than most folks. You know him better than most anyone else. Can

you say -- do you believe that the president is as sharp today as he was when he took this job? Have you seen any slowdowns?

JEAN-PIERRE: Yes. What I can say is this is a president who is strong and resolute in delivering for the American people. That's what I see. I see a

president -- when I'm in -- sitting in front of him, you know, going through the day or talking about what he's doing next, he is someone that

engages with us. He wants to know, he pushes us. He -- you know, prods (ph) us, wanting to figure out like the bigger picture of whatever we're trying

to explain to him, or even granular details.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, he's as sharp as ever?

JEAN-PIERRE: He is sharp as ever, as I have known him to be in my engagement, in my experience with him. And I know when I walk into the Oval

Office or see him on Air Force One, I have to be on top of my game. I do. I mean, that's just kind of my engagement with him and how it's been for the

past couple of years.

I know I have to wrap it up. I know. Go ahead. Go ahead, Emily (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks, Karine. I just wanted to ask, how is the president's health today? Does he still have his cold or is he feeling

better? And then, to clarify, on the medical exam, because you said he hasn't had one since his last physical. He was on the way to the debate.

The doctor was with him. He had a cold. He's 81. Does he not get checked out by the doctor? I'm --

JEAN-PIERRE: What I can tell you he did not have -- he did not get checked out by the doctor. It's a cold, guys. It's a cold. And I know that it

affects everybody differently. We have all had colds. And so, no, he was not checked by the doctor. What was your other question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How is his health today? Does he still have the cold?

JEAN-PIERRE: Well, I saw him today. My team and I saw him today. He looked great. And he was with the vice president. They both look great. I know --

I was asked yesterday if he still had a cold, I think if he still has a lingering cold. And but -- he is ready to go. He's ready to go.

I kind of have to wrap it up, but go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks, Karine. Sources have told ABC that the president recognizes how difficult his political predicament is. So, how

has his mood been as of late? Has he been down? Is he frustrated?

JEAN-PIERRE: I just saw -- I just, I mentioned, I think multiple times at this point, that I got to see him, my team and I got to see him and the

vice president. He's great. He's like in a great mood, ready to get things going. He's going to do the Medal of Honor later today. He's going to meet

with Democratic governors. And that's kind of what you want to see, right, from your leader.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Does he share any frustrations with you all after --


JEAN-PIERRE: I -- what I can say is that he wants to move forward. That's what he wants to do. He wants to move forward. Acknowledge, right?

Acknowledge what happened. Be very cleareyed about it and very forthcoming and honest about what he's -- what you all saw. But he also knows that he's

the president of the United States. He has to continue to work and deliver on behalf of the American people. That's what he has to continue to do. And

that's what he's -- that's how he's going to move forward.

All right, everybody. Thanks, everyone.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome. I'm Jim Sciutto in for Isa Soares today. We've been listening to White House Press Secretary Karine

Jean-Pierre speaking to reporters and answering what can only be described as a difficult series of questions about President Joe Biden's debate

performance, his health, and his candidacy for president.

The headlines, she was asked directly this, is President Biden considering stepping down. Her answer was, "absolutely not." She went on to say that he

has not had any physical or doctor's visit since his regular annual physical in February, her explanation for his performance on Friday is jet

lag and a cold, though she did say a number of times, this is not an excuse, it's an explanation acknowledging that President Biden's

performance in that debate was below par, to say the least.

I will say that the president himself has commented today on his campaign plans, and he said the following during a campaign stop to reporters, I'm

quoting, "Let me say this as clearly as I possibly can and as simply and straightforward as I can, I am running. I'm the nominee of the Democratic

Party. No one's pushing me out. I'm not leaving. I'm in this race to the end, and we're going to win because when Democrats unite, we always win."

Those are the words of the president. And you heard the words, as well, of the White House press secretary there. That said, the questions continue to

linger, as do polling numbers that show some erosion in the president's support in recent days. I want to bring senior politics reporter Stephen

Collinson, who is in Washington, D.C. Also, Chris Whipple, the author of "The Fight of His Life: Inside Joe Biden's White House," both were

listening to that White House briefing.

And Stephen, it's the second briefing in a row for the White House press secretary in which he has asked a series of questions about the president's

health and his political future. Whatever the answer, those are not the questions that they want to be answering repeatedly at this stage of the


STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: Right. I think the most important thing, as you were saying, is this idea that the president will

not fold his campaign. That was necessary for them to try to stop this runaway train of reports that saying that he is, in fact, doing the exact

opposite, that he's evaluating his position and that the next few days will be decisive.

But more broadly, I think that briefing showed the predicament that the president's campaign is now in. Almost every explanation for why the debate

didn't go very well for him only ends up compounding the central issue, and that is whether he is fit to serve a second term. This new explanation or

excuse or whatever that he had jet lag, that only puts the focus on the president's health and energy and stamina.

SCIUTTO: Chris Whipple, you wrote the book, "The Fight of His Life: Inside Joe Biden's White House." You know his team well, you know the president

well. Based on your conversations, is there real consideration either by the president or by those closest to him that he'd drop out of the race?

CHRIS WHIPPLE, AUTHOR, "THE FIRST OF HIS LIFE: INSIDE JOE BIDEN'S WHITE HOUSE": No, Jim, I don't think there is. And look, let me just say, God

bless the White House press secretary. She has the toughest job in the country for obvious reasons, but we really need a better answer at this

point than things happen, which was what she said at first. Then she said that Thursday night's performance was because of jet lag and a cold. Well,

nobody believes that that was caused by jet lag and cold.

And I'm afraid that, you know, the sort of go-to playbook of this White House tends to be, let's say as little as possible and just turn the page

and move on. We're going to need better answers. This is the biggest story in the world, and they haven't answered that fundamental question.

But I think in answer to your question, Joe Biden's not going anywhere at this point. And color me skeptical about the report today that he told an

ally that he was thinking about getting out.

SCIUTTO: Chris, it's often said that the campaign reflects the candidate, and this is a campaign, of course, it's also an administration. Would you

say that that circle the wagons response is in effect a Biden response to all these questions, that he is in effect for himself, around himself,

circling the wagons on this question?


WHIPPLE: Yes, look, I think that's true. And look, it would take, I think, almost a kind of family intervention, a family and close friends'

intervention led by Jill Biden, Hunter, Val, his sister, maybe throw in his friend, Ted Kaufman and Mike Donilon. It would almost require that kind of

intervention to talk Joe Biden out of running.

And of course, nothing makes him more determined to run for a second term than a New York Times editorial saying he ought to get out. And that's --

SCIUTTO: And the family might, in fact, based on some reporting, be giving him the opposite advice, which is to stay in and fight it out. Chris

Whipple, we appreciate your insights. Stephen Collinson, you as well.

And thanks so much to all of you for watching tonight. Please do stay with CNN. I'm going to be back in just a couple of minutes with "State of the

Race." That's next.