Joe Biden

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan

April 24, 2024

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

2:47 P.M. EDT

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Hi, good afternoon, everyone.

Q: Good afternoon.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, I -- I'm just going to be super, super quick. I'm going to turn things over to National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, who's here to talk about the national security supplemental that the President, as you all know, signed this morning and -- and our support for Ukraine -- our continued support for Ukraine.


MR. SULLIVAN: Well, thank you. So, Karine was very short. I'll be a little bit longer because I have a few things to lay out.

But wanted to start by saying that I'm sorry that we're late for the podium today, but it's -- it's for good reason, which is I've just come from being with the President, where he got the chance to meet with Abigail Edan, the four-year-old American who was held hostage by Hamas in Gaza and was released last November as part of the first hostage deal that the President was able to help broker and negotiate.

But it was also a reminder, in getting to see her, that there are still Americans and others being held hostage by Hamas. And we're working day in, day out to ensure all of them also are able to get safely home to their loved ones.

The main reason I come to the podium today, though, is to follow up on the President's remarks from earlier today and the very important, consequential vote that was taken in the Senate last night and the bill that was signed by the President this morning.

This morning, you heard President Biden speak about the critical importance of the national security supplemental, which came to the President's desk, as we said it would, with overwhelming bipartisan support from the U.S. Congress. I've stood at this podium numerous times and said, you know, the road may be full of twists and turns, I can't predict exactly when it will happen, but I always had confidence it would happen.

And that's because of the deep reservoir of support there is for Ukraine. And that's true of Democrats, it's true of Republicans, it's true of independents. And that's what's shown through in the votes, both in the House and the 79-vote aye vote outcome we saw in the Senate last night.

The passage of this bill sends a powerful message to the rest of the world about the enduring strength of American leadership. And believe me, the world has been and continues to watch closely.

As you all know, getting this legislation through Congress has been a top priority for President Biden since he first submitted his supplemental request more than six months ago. And it gets to a core tenet of his foreign policy philosophy: When our friends and allies are stronger, we, the United States and the American people, are stronger. And when our friends are attacked or threatened, we, the United States, stand up for them. We do our part. We keep our word.

And with that signature this morning, the President kept America's word that we would stand with Ukraine through thick and thin, and that's exactly what we will do.

When Russia began amassing troops on Ukraine's borders, the President rallied the world to respond to Russia's aggression. He built a broad coalition that flowed critical aid to Ukraine as the Ukrainian people defended themselves and then won the battle for Kyiv, the battle for Kharkiv, the battle for Kherson, and regained half the territory that Russia occupied since 2022.

And the bill the President signed today and the significant and immediate military aid package he approved one minute later will send Ukraine the supplies that it needs to make a significant different -- difference as they continue to fight for their sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The bill will also help replenish Israel's air defenses, which is even more important following Iran's brazen and unprecedented attack 10 days ago. And it will help ensure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself against the very real threats it faces from Iran as well as Iran's proxy groups.

The supplemental will substantially increase humanitarian aid for Palestinian civilians in Gaza, who are suffering so grievously, as we work to build on the progress of the past two weeks in terms of an increase in the amount of lifesaving humanitarian assistance that has been and must continue to flow into Gaza. And the quantities and the type of humanitarian assistance that we have seen increase over the last two weeks, we need to see continued increases and sustained increases as we go forward.

The bill will also enhance and expand humanitarian aid for those who have been impacted by instability, by conflict, by disaster all over the world, including in Haiti, in Sudan, and Somalia.

The bill makes important investments in our defense industrial base that will strengthen our own military. And, of course, it provides timely support to our allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific as well.

Getting this bill passed entailed months of advocacy, hands-on work by President Biden himself, by his White House team, by his national security team, and countless briefings, meetings, hearings by departments and agencies across our government for the Congress in both the House and the Senate.

It was a long road to secure this funding. And I have to say, standing here today, it was too long. And the consequences of the delay have been felt in Ukraine. Over the past six months, Ukraine has had to ration ammunition, and that has resulted in the loss of some territory in the east, including the city of Avdiivka.

And while today's announcement is very good news for Ukraine, they are still under severe pressure on the battlefield, and it is certainly possible that Russia could make additional tactical gains in the coming weeks.

Russia has tried to grind out very slow, costly progress on multiple fronts over the past few weeks. They are threatening the town of Chasiv Yar. They are threatening settlements to the west of Avdiivka. And, of course, they're raining hell down on Kharkiv and other cities across Ukraine.

The fact is that it's going to take some time for us to dig out of the hole that was created by six months of delay before Congress passed the supplemental. And that's why the minute the President signed the supplemental, he turned and signed a very substantial drawdown package that includes urgently needed artillery and HIMARS ammunition, more armored vehicles, Javelins, Stingers, and air defense interceptors, among other things. These capabilities are going to start moving immediately to make up for lost time.

At this critical moment, this is a way to show in deed as well as in word that the United States stands with Ukraine.

And despite the challenges that I've just described, I think it is very important for us to underscore that as we look ahead to the rest of 2024, our view is that Ukraine retains key advantages in this fight. Uk- -- Ukraine can and will prevail, and that will be thanks to the bravery of its people but also the support of its friends.

First, the Ukrainian military remains a resilient, brave, and effective fighting force. And even as the Ukrainians waited for U.S. security assistance, they were able to impose significant costs on Russia. Since the start of 2024, we estimate that Ukraine has destroyed more than 700 Russian armored vehicles and roughly 250 Russian tanks.

Russia, meanwhile, has had to continue to throw its soldiers into this fight without proper training and equipment.

Second, our allies, as the President said this morning, have been mobilizing in support of Ukraine alongside us. Just yesterday, the UK announced a significant new package of military aid for Ukraine, alongside major investments that they are making in their defense industrial base, putting their defense budget on a path to reach 2.5 percent of their GDP by the end of the decade. And the United States welcomes these moves from a stalwart ally.

Germany recently announced the donation of another Patriot system to Ukraine.

The Czech government, whose Prime Minister was just here recently, has raised enough money to purchase half a million artillery shells for Ukraine, with hundreds of thousands more beyond that to follow.

And Estonia recently announced its own ambitious effort to secure even more artillery and other forms of ammunition for Ukraine.

And then, third, the United States is building up our capacity to support Ukraine. For example, we're investing in our own domestic production of 155-millimeter artillery rounds. Since the start of this conflict, we've more than doubled our monthly production of 155. By the end of this year, we will have doubled it again. And as a result, we're going to be able to provide, from our own production, steady and significant supplies of artillery to Ukraine.

We are also providing Ukraine with new capabilities. I'm able to confirm, as you've heard from others, that in February the President directed his team to provide Ukraine with a significant number of ATACMS missiles for use inside Ukraine's sovereign territory. That shipment started moving in March as part of the PDA that the President authorized on March 12th, and those missiles have arrived in Ukraine.

This followed Russia's procurement and use of North Korea's ballistic missiles against Ukraine, as well as Russia's renewed and escalating attacks against civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.

Until recently, as we've said on many occasions, we were unable to provide these ATACMS because of readiness concerns. But behind the scenes, the administration across the board has worked relentlessly to address those concerns. We now have a significant number of ATACMS coming off the production line and entering U.S. stocks. And as a result, we can move forward with providing ATACMS while also sustaining the readiness of the U.S. armed forces.

The path ahead will not be easy. Russia is going to continue to press its attacks against Ukrainian defenses. But for the reasons that I have laid out, over time, we assess that Ukraine's position in this conflict will improve, and we believe that Ukraine can and will win.

As I have said from this podium before, no one -- no one in this room and no one anywhere else -- should underestimate the Ukrainian people, and no one should underestimate President Biden's resolve and the American people's resolve and a bipartisan majority in -- both in the House and the Senate's resolve to stand with Ukraine.

And with that, I'd be happy to take your questions.


Q: Thank you, Jake. How big of an impact will these long-range ATACMS have on the battlefields in Ukraine? And will more long-range ATACMS be sent to Ukraine as part of this $60 billion aid package?

MR. SULLIVAN: So, we've -- as I said in my opening comments, we've already sent some. We will send more now that we have additional both authority and money. I'm not going to get into specific numbers for operational reasons.

I believe they will make a difference. But as I've said before at this podium -- and as you've heard from Secretary Austin, the Chairman, and other senior military officials -- there is no silver bullet in this conflict. One capability is not going to be the ultimate solution. It is an amalgam of capabilities that come together and combine with the bravery and skill of Ukraine's fighters that's going to make the difference in this conflict.

So, we think it's good that we're able to provide them, but I don't expect to stand before you and say one capability has -- has been the silver bullet in this conflict.

Q: Are you worried that it could provoke Russia? Because they had said that sending these long-range missiles could be crossing the red line.

MR. SULLIVAN: What we have seen from the Russians is their willingness to accept long-range missiles from other countries, specifically North Korea. They have used those in the battlefield. They have used them to attack Ukrainian civilians as well.

So, from our perspective, now that we've resolved our readiness concerns, being able to step up and provide our own capabilities to Ukraine, as partners of ours have -- the UK, the French, others -- we think it's appropriate to do at this moment. We think it is a good capability in this phase of the conflict for Ukraine, and we will stand behind that four-square.


Q: Jake, you know, on Israel. They've made a number of commitments in terms of what they need to do on the ground in order to receive the aid that they're getting from the United States. With the reports that we've seen of mass graves at two medical facilities in Gaza that they destroyed, is it your current view that they are living up to those commitments?

MR. SULLIVAN: Well, those reports were deeply disturbing. We have been in touch at multiple levels with the Israeli government. We want answers. We want to understand exactly what happened. You've seen some public commentary from the IDF on that, but we want to know the specifics of what the circumstances of this were. And we want to see this thoroughly and transparently investigated so that the whole world can have a comprehensive answer and we, the United States, can as well.

I can't speak beyond that because, of course, we're in the early days of fully understanding what happened.

We also received a series of commitments from the Israeli government with respect to the facilitation of humanitarian assistance.

President -- (a cellphone rings).

Q: That's all for today, Jake. Time's up.

MR. SULLIVAN: (Laughs.) That's what the -- that's "The Gong Show"? (Laughter.)

You know, President Biden spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu a little more than two weeks ago. And in the time that has unfolded since his conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu, we have seen a marked increase in the amount of humanitarian assistance that has gone into Gaza and, importantly, a very significant increase in the amount of assistance that has gone to Northern Gaza, where the U.N. and others had told us the challenges of malnutrition and potential famine were most acute.

So, we think we have made a significant set of steps forward on this, but -- and this is a very important "but" -- it needs to be sustained and it needs to be increased even further.

We've seen moves at Ashdod. We've seen initial moves through crossings in the north. Again, those are good steps, but we need to see that expanded, institutionalized, and ensure that, on a steady basis, the level and intensity and scope of humanitarian assistance meets the need. And we're going to stay focused until we ensure that that is the case.


Q: Thanks, Jake. What kind of mechanism does the U.S. have in place to ensure that these long-range ATACMS will only be used within Ukrainian territory and will not be fired into Russian territory?

MR. SULLIVAN: Well, we now have an extended period of time where we have tested these commitments from the Ukrainian government, which they have made with respect to other systems as well, including HIMARS, where they have said, "We will only use these on Ukrainian sovereign territory. We won't use them beyond the borders of Ukraine."

They have followed through on that commitment time and time again with respect to the systems that we have provided them, so we have confidence they will follow through on this commitment as well.

Q: And then on this new --


Q: -- hostage video that was just released by Hamas of Hersh Goldberg-Polin. What's your understanding of why Hamas is re- -- releasing this video now? Is it because the U.S. was insisting on some proof of life? Or is this a provocation of some sort?

MR. SULLIVAN: We have insisted on proof of life, we have insisted on the release of all of these hostages from the beginning. And so, there's been no change in our position with respect to proof of life. So, I can't speak to what has caused them to choose to release the video at this time.

All I can say is this is a -- an innocent young man being held hostage by a terrorist organization, and he should be released immediately without condition and without delay.

I have not had the personal opportunity to speak with his parents since this video was released. I'm intending to do that.

I don't want to speak further on this, because of the sensitivity of the issue, other than to say I was just sitting with the President of the United States going through all of the Americans being held hostage and what we can do about them, what their status is. It's something he is personally very focused on, even as he celebrates Abigail's release.

So, this is something we will continue to make a paramount priority for President Biden and for the United States.


Q: I know you don't want to detail it much further. But just for clarity, can you assess -- is there any assessment of how recent this video was made, if this was made just days after? He does have, sort of, a date stamp in how long he says he's been held. What is the U.S.'s understanding on that?

And separately, can you pull back the curtain on the visit with Abigail Edan and her family? You were there. How is she -- her spirits, her family? What was the moment like? What were the interactions like? If you could, invite us into that room.

MR. SULLIVAN: The moment that we got the video that showed Hersh, we gave it to the FBI Hostage Fusion Recovery Cell. Those are the experts who have the technical capacity to actually look at that video and discern or at least assess with as much specificity as possible the answers to your questions.

They are in the process of doing that. I'm not going to get ahead of that assessment --

Q: Okay.

MR. SULLIVAN: -- to make any judgments about time, you know, recency, et cetera. I will let them make those judgments. And then when we have something we can share publicly, in light of all the sensitivities, we'll share it with you.

You know, President Biden will speak to this himself because this was his meeting, his opportunity to see Abigail, to see her family, to see her siblings. Abigail and her -- her two siblings had their parents killed on October 7th. So, they're still living with the tragedy and the trauma of that. Abigail, of course, is living with the trauma of being held captive for -- for many weeks.

But this was a -- a moment of joy as well because she was able to be returned safely to her family. And I think, for the President, the most important thing was it was a reminder of the work still to do and how important it is for him personally and for the government to do all that we can to secure a ceasefire and hostage deal so that everybody can come home.


Q: Thanks, Jake. This bill also authorized the President to seize Russian-dollar assets. Is that something he's prepared to do unilaterally? Or will he have to consult with allies before making any kind of decision?

MR. SULLIVAN: Well, the G7 has said collectively that Russia's assets are going to remain immobilized until they are put to use for recovery in Ukraine. The precise way in which that happens, the mechanism is still being -- is still a matter of consultation with our European partners.

Look, the ideal is that we all move together -- that Europe and the United States, especially since the bulk of the assets are held in Europe, come up with a common way forward for how we ensure that these sovereign assets actually go to work rebuilding and reconstructing Ukraine.

And I will not go further than that today because we are in the middle of intense consultations with our European partners.

I can tell you this is going to be an important subject of conversation at the G7 summit in June. But I will leave it at that for today.

Q: Can you provide us with an update on the latest on the Rafah invasion? What's the latest that the Israelis have told the administration? And on timing, do you expect them to hold off as these talks continue?

MR. SULLIVAN: I will say that you hear a lot of different public comments from different Israeli officials, different media reports -- some on the record, some off the record, some on background -- circling dates, stating what's going to happen definitively, changing what's going to happen definitively, so I will be entirely out of the business of commenting, predicting, or representing what exactly Israel will do when it comes to Rafah.

What I can tell you is the U.S. position has been clear on this. I've stated it from this podium. The President has spoken to it. And we've had very detailed discussions with the Israelis as recently as last week by secure video to talk through not just our concerns but our view that there is a different way to go about dealing with the Hamas threat in Rafah and succeeding in ensuring the long-term defense and security of Israel.

We are still in those conversations, and we will still continue to press our perspective. And I will leave it at that for today because that conversation is midstream. It has not been concluded.


Q: Thanks, Jake. This bill gives ByteDance 270 days to sell TikTok due to those national security concerns, which could lead to a national ban. In the meantime, is it safe for President Biden's campaign and any other political entity to be on TikTok?

MR. SULLIVAN: So, I'm going to let campaigns decide for themselves what they're going to do.

The terms of the bill are straightforward. TikTok continues to operate as it is right now until such time as either there is divestment or the time that you've referred to elapses. And so, what we're focused on right now in implementing the bill is working through that divestment in a way that is consistent with the intent of the law and consistent with the national security concerns that brought the law into force in the first place.


Q: The war will stretch far beyond the $61 billion in aid. So, can the Ukrainians have any confidence that the fight over Congress -- the fight over money in Congress won't repeat itself next year?

And, you know, has Putin planned for these skirmishes in the U.S. Congress as he continues the invasion in Ukraine?

MR. SULLIVAN: Well, look, I've said this before -- and maybe it's even an understatement to say it again -- that democracy is messy. There's a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, a lot of twists and turns.

But I think really what this weekend showed is that, at the end of the day, despite substantial effort by a lot of parties, including the Russians, to figure out a way to not have this bill pass, it has passed. And I think the message that that sends is that, at the end of the day, when push comes to shove, the United States is going to be there with the resources necessary for Ukraine.

I believe that today, I believed that one year ago, and I believe that will be true one year from now.


Q: Yeah. Thanks, Jake. You referred to the hole that was dug because of the six-month delay in Congress. How deep is that hole? How much was -- did l- -- Ukraine lose on the battlefield as a result of inaction?

And, secondly, how long does the U.S. expect this $61 billion to last before it is completely withdrawn?

MR. SULLIVAN: So, you can --

Q: (Inaudible.)

MR. SULLIVAN: -- you can measure the impact in different ways. With respect to actual territory, we're talking about tactical losses in the east, not some fundamental structural shift in the underlying dynamic of the conflict.

But you can also measure it just in terms of the -- the wear and tear in places on a frontline unit who has to ration ammunition because they're not getting the steady flows. And that's a bit more incalculable.

And the President referred in his remarks earlier today to the reports of Ukrainian troops literally cheering in the trenches, watching on their phones, as the House passed the bill over the weekend. That goes to show you how closely they are following the -- the U.S. Congress, because it means the difference between having them -- the tools they need to put up that fight effectively and not having those tools.

So, our view is that that has caused, obviously, some significant wear and tear on the forces, as well as some tactical losses on the battlefield, and has also created the existing pressure that we see even today with Russian unit -- units pushing forward in places they were not previously pushing forward.

But we also believe, as I laid out -- maybe in too much detail for some of you -- that there are fundamental structural drivers that favor Ukraine here. And part of that is about what the U.S. industrial base can produce. Part of it is about what the Europeans have stepped up to do in really significant ways over the course of the -- the last six months. And we are urging them to keep that going, even as the U.S. has delivered $60 billion. Part of that is about the Ukrainian capacity itself. And then, of course, we are adding new capabilities like the ATACMS.

So, you put all that together and I think the calculus of the Russians or the critics of Ukraine who say, "Time is on Russia's side" -- they've got it wrong. We believe that the structural dynamics of this conflict favor the country defending its own territory. We believe that occupation and invasion saps the will and vitality of a nation over time.

And as long as Ukraine gets the tools that it needs to defend itself, it can do so effectively and it can win. And we have now taken a major step forward in giving it the tools that it needs to defend itself, and we insist that we will continue to do so.

Q: And then a second question. In terms of how long it'll last, I mean, how -- until it's completely drawn down. Is there any -- should it last the rest of this year? I mean, how -- how long are we talking here?

MR. SULLIVAN: I do anticipate that with the amount of resources we have right now, we can continue to supply Ukraine with what it needs through 2024.

Q: Jake?


Q: Thanks, Jake. There's been some satellite imagery of tents popping up near Khan Younis and -- and Rafah as well. Do you have an assessment of what these were built for? Is this related to Israel's potential invasion in Rafah imminently?

MR. SULLIVAN: So, I have seen the reports. I don't know, actually, exactly what they refer to. It is certainly the case that U.N. organizations, NGOs, other governments are working to actually build out shelter, sanitation, distribution points for humanitarian assistance in Khan Younis now that major military operations there have abated.

So, sort of setting aside the question of Rafah for the moment, which is a hard question to set aside, there's going to be a significant amount of humanitarian activity in Khan Younis regardless, as there can and should be in Gaza City as well as we get more aid to the north.

So, I can't speak specifically to these reports, how they relate to Israel's future military operations, because I've only seen them kind of written in the newspaper. I haven't yet seen what exactly they're referring to.

But we'll stay in close touch not just with the Israelis, but with the United Nations. In fact, on a daily basis, at senior levels, we're talking to the U.N. as they try to coordinate the humanitarian element of this.

And, frankly, for those people -- innocent civilians -- who are not in Rafah, they too need and deserve shelter, support, food, medicine, and everything else. And, you know, we are insisting that that happen, in addition to ensuring the safety and protection of the people of Rafah.

Q: And then really quickly on the in-person talks that were scheduled to happen. I know you guys have been meeting virtually with Israeli counterparts.


Q: Is there anything planned upcoming for an in-person conversation?

MR. SULLIVAN: So, we had an in-person one planned, and then, as you all may have noticed, there was a series of events related to Israel over the course of the past two weeks that made it difficult, frankly, for anybody to leave their desks. I couldn't leave my desk. My counterparts in Israel couldn't leave their desk because we were hunkered down trying to put together the coalition that helped defend Israel against that unprecedented Iranian attack and then deal with the aftermath of it.

I expect we will get together in person relatively soon, but we don't have a date circled on the calendar right now.

Q: Thanks. Thanks so much, Jake. Back to the structural dynamics in Ukraine that you talked about earlier. Ukraine is facing a very severe troop shortage at the moment. Is there anything in this package that will address the fact that Ukraine needs more troops on the frontlines and that they've struggling to -- to get the numbers that they need over the past several months?

MR. SULLIVAN: It's a very good question. Obviously, this package does not include troops. It includes the capabilities that troops will need, but Ukraine itself will have to supply the troops.

Now, as we were working day in, day out to get this bill passed, President Biden was also working with President Zelenskyy to talk through how President Zelenskyy was thinking about the issue of mobilization and getting enough forces forward to the fight.

And actually, as you know, just in the last couple of weeks, Ukraine has passed a new mobilization law. And, also, the new commander-in-chief, General Syrskyi, has put in place -- along with the Defense Minister, Umerov -- a series of protocols to increase the number of forces that are being mobilized each month so that Ukraine has the manpower it needs to go along with the capabilities it is now getting.

And we will start to see the impact of that month by month as they implement the new mobilization law and as they implement the new directives from the Minister of Defense and the -- the new commander of the -- of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Q: Jake.


Q: Jake, the North Korean envoy has recently se- -- sent to Iran. And considering the fact that both ballistic missiles and the Shahed drones have been sent to Ukraine to fight against the Ukrainian forces, can I get your opinion on this?

MR. SULLIVAN: Well, the President today made a comment that, you know, I'll just repeat, which is for the six months that we were not actually passing the necessary resources for Ukraine, Putin was looking to his friends. And he was getting those drones from Iran, he was getting those missiles from North Korea, and he was getting support for the Russian defense industrial base from China.

And that is not lost on us. It's something that we are dealing with on all three fronts. And we will continue to do that. And you've heard Secretary Blinken, obviously, who's now in Beijing, speak to our concerns with respect to the PRC and its support for Russia's defense industrial base. And we have been vocal from this podium about both North Korea and Iran, and we'll continue to be.


Q: Thank you, Jake. Israeli government officials are saying that the President has backed down on possibly sanctioning the IDF Netzah Yehuda unit -- battalion. Is there any truth to that? Is that still under consideration? And, if not, why not?

MR. SULLIVAN: On this one, I've got to refer you to the State Department, because they run a rigorous, detailed analysis of what's called the Leahy Law, which looks at gross violations of human rights by particular units. It has been taking a look at these questions for multiple countries. And I can't -- it wouldn't be appropriate for me to speak on their behalf. So, the State Department will ultimately have to speak to this.

Q: Okay.

MR. SULLIVAN: I would only point out that the nomenclature of "sanction" is not accurate. What we are talking about here is, if the Leahy Law is implemented, it has implications for how we deal with a particular unit. But it's not, in the classic sense, a sanction. It's something well known and applied in multiple jurisdictions around the world.

But this really is something that we take care to separate from politics, to separate from, you know, decisions taken at the White House. It is a State Department analysis with a State Department outcome. And they can speak to what is going to happen at the time that they're ready to speak to it.

Q: Having -- having said that, a number of State Department officials, including some recently departed former officials, have told my colleagues that their understanding of the situation is that the President's views on -- on Israel have been a roadblock to applying the Leahy Law as you have just described.

Can you tell us, right here, whether the President would intervene in that State Department process that you alluded to to prevent Leahy Law restrictions being placed on Israel?

MR. SULLIVAN: I -- I think I did just tell you. He will not. The White House will not intervene in that. That is a process run out of the State Department, and you should go there. And my strong guess is that the State Department officials you're referring to have never sat in a meeting with President Biden on Israel and are merely speculating based on whatever their own perspective is.

But I've said it to you, plain and simple: The State Department will make these judgments. They'll make them according to the analysis and the timeline they deem appropriate. And -- and the questions about how that all plays out are best directed to their podium.

Q: Way in the back, Jake.


Q: Thank you. Just on Ukraine. Now that the United States is sending long-range missile systems to Ukraine, do you expect that Germany would follow? Would you welcome such a step from them?

MR. SULLIVAN: I would refer you to Berlin on that.


Q: Thank you. You've been talking about a very detailed discussion with the Israeli government about possible invasion in Rafah. Does this administration still consider Prime Minister Netanyahu as a valuable partner?

MR. SULLIVAN: As a what?

Q: Valuable partner.

MR. SULLIVAN: I'm not sure I understand what you mean by that.

Q: As a partner that you can trust.

MR. SULLIVAN: He's the Prime Minister of Israel. We deal with whoever is sitting in the chair as the Prime Minister of Israel, because ultimately the decisions that are taken are taken under his leadership of his Cabinet.

And so, we will continue in -- to engage with the Prime Minister -- the President will. We'll continue to engage with his team in an effort for them to fully understand our perspective and where we think the right steps forward are and to listen to them as well. And ultimately, the President will make his own decisions about U.S. policy consistent with U.S. interests and values.


Q: Thank you very much, Jake. On Iran, North Korea, and Russia. It was reported that North Koreans' economic delegations will be dispatched to Iran to discuss nuclear missile cooperation with Iran. As you know, that -- Iran used North Korea-made missiles in an airstrike against Israel. What impact do you predict that military cooperation between Iran, North Korea, and Russia will have on the Middle East situation and Korean Peninsula?

MR. SULLIVAN: Well, episodically, over the course of many years and many administrations, we've seen various linkages in -- and defense cooperation between North Korea and Iran. That's come and gone, ebbed and flowed.

What is new, what is different over the course of the last two years has really been the cooperation between Iran and Russia with this massive provision of drones and North Korea and Russia with a massive provision of many different capabilities, including artillery, but also including ballistic missiles that go quite a long range, pack a punch, and are being used to terrorize cities across Ukraine.

And we believe that this is a matter of grave concern to the security of Europe, way beyond the borders of Ukraine.

And to your question, we're also concerned about what may happen in the other direction: What is Russia going to provide to North Korea or Iran that will destabilize the Indo-Pacific or destabilize the Middle East? That's something that we're watching very closely.


Q: Thanks, Jake. Tomorrow is the funeral service for the seven World Central Kitchen aid workers who were killed. Why is the President not going?

MR. SULLIVAN: Well, the President will have a letter from him read at the service. And you will see the Second Gentleman there. The President, of course, has had a longstanding plan to go up to Micron, the facility up in Syracuse. He will continue with that. But he has spoken directly with Chaef [sic] Jose Andre- -- Chef Jose Andres about this tragic event.

And, of course, in the immediate aftermath of it, he picked up the phone and called Bibi Netanyahu. And what we have seen since then, as I was speaking about before with respect to the provision and facilitation of humanitarian assistance, has been a significant difference. But the administration will be well represented at that event.


Q: Thank you. Two questions. One on Iran. Part of the deal that was signed by the President today had a collection of sanctions on Iran, on the Islamic Republic -- namely, human rights, drones, their dealings with China, the oil export. What is the administration trying to achieve with this set of sanctions that has not already achieved in the past three years?

And my second question is about this National Security Memorandum 20, which is an independent task which they called the suspen- -- for the suspension of the U.S. arms transfer to Israel because they are accusing Israel Defense Forces of a "systematic pattern of war crime." What does the administration say about this?

MR. SULLIVAN: So, on National Security Memorandum 20, which the President signed some weeks ago, we have a report that will be sent up to the Congress in early May. That report will analyze the elements of National Security Memorandum 20. And obviously, then, we will present the findings of that to all of you as well. And I'm not going to get ahead of that report. I think we should let them work through rigorously the analysis, which will be done on an interagency basis by the U.S. government.

And your first question was about Iran sanctions. Look, I think the moment we're in right now that's quite different from where we were just a few weeks ago is you've actually had the G7 come out together and say that we need to impose additional economic measures, additional sanctions, additional pressure on Iran for this brazen and unprecedented attack against Israel with more than 300 missiles and drones fired at Israeli territory.

The EU has moved, the UK has moved, the United States has moved, and we will continue to move. And extra authorities from Congress can help add to the -- the types of forms of pressure that we can place and the type of isolation we can generate with respect to Iran, which is acting in ways that are fundamentally irresponsible and destabilizing the peace and stability in the Middle East.

I'll take one more question. Yeah.

Q: I wanted to follow up on -- I know you had to not go to Riyadh, to Saudi Arabia. I hope you're feeling better, by the way.

MR. SULLIVAN: Thank you.

Q: But has that been rescheduled, first?

And secondly, can you give us an update on, sort of, what movement there has been on these normalization talks between Saudi Arabia and Israel?

MR. SULLIVAN: I do expect to get to Saudi Arabia in the next few weeks. We haven't literally scheduled it because things have been a bit in flux. But we will get it back on the calendar in the near term. I'll let you know when I plan to get out there.

Thank you for your concern. I do feel quite a bit better. (Laughter.) But as any of you who've cracked a rib know, it -- it takes a long time. So, call me at 80 percent right now. Meanwhile, I'm physically deteriorating in all other ways, but -- (laughter) -- that's a matter for another time.

And then, in terms of where we are on normalization talks, I really want to have the opportunity to sit with the senior Saudi leadership, get their perspective in person. I'd be happy to report back to you after that. It's something that we want to continue to work on.

Although every week or so, I read a new story about how there's a renewed initiative, a different initiative, a new -- you know, this is steady, consistent diplomacy aiming at an endpoint that we've been quite clear about. But there haven't been any kind of dramatic developments over the course of the past few weeks. It's something we continue to work at. We'll talk with the Saudis. We'll see where we are. And obviously, we have to talk with the Israelis as well, because they would be a part of the larger outcome here if we could generate it.

And with that, I'll turn it over to Karine. Thanks, everyone.

Q: Thanks, Jake.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Thank you.

All right. Thanks, everybody. Thanks, Jake.

I do have a -- something at the top for all of you, and then we can get into Q&A.

Over the last -- the lo- -- the last two days, our administration took several new steps to protect workers and consumers.

The FTC banned non-compete agreements, which currently keep 30 million workers, nearly one in five, from changing jobs. This rule will increase wages by at least $400 billion over the next 10 years.

The Labor Department raised the salary threshold for overtime, extending overtime protections to millions of workers. As the President put it: If you work extra hours, you deserve extra pay.

The Lad- -- Labor Department is also protecting retirement security by requiring financial advisors to act in the saver's best interest, not their own. This will save millions of Americans thousands of dollars for their retirement accounts.

The Transportation Department is helping consumers get what they are owed by requiring airlines to provide passengers with cash refunds when flights are canceled or significantly changed, checked bags are significantly delayed, or services like Wi-Fi are not provided.

The Transportation Department is -- is also cracking down on surprise junk fees by requiring airlines to tell consumers upfront what they are being charged for checked bags, carrying on bags, and changing or canceling a reservation.

These are just the latest parts of -- parts of President Biden's agenda to protect workers and lower costs. The President is building an economy that lifts up working Americans and middle-class families.

With that, Colleen.

Q: Thanks, Karine.


Q: So, the backlash is growing at Morehouse College over the President's upcoming address, and it sort of mirrors all these other college protests over Gaza. I'm wondering how the President is going to manage increasing student concerns as the violence wears on.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, look, we know it's a incredibly painful time for many communities. You hear us say that often. You have heard us mention the President meeting with different community -- community leaders and community members, obviously, from the -- for -- from the different -- the different communities, obviously, the different groups, to be more specise [precise], whether it's Arab Americans, Muslim Americans, Palestinian Americans, to have those difficult conversation, to have those honest conversations.

And you've heard the White House -- you've heard us talk about the White House staff, officials having regular, ongoing meetings with these different groups.

Look, as it relates to commencements, they're about the graduates, right? They're about their families. They're about their loved ones. It's about celebrating accomplishments. And the President is certainly looking forward to doing that. He's going to do that at Morehouse. He's going to do that at West Point -- West Point, where those are graduates where he's going to be thanking them for their service and defending -- obviously, for defending our -- our nation.

So, the President is going to look -- is looking forward to being part of that. He has always -- it's not the first time, obviously, that he's given commencement speeches.

I understand this is a different moment in time that we're in. But he always takes this moment as a special time to deliver a message -- an encouraging message, a message that's hopefully uplifting to the graduates and their families. And we're going to continue to have these conversations that I've been -- that I've just mentioned with the different communities about what's happening right now.

We get it. It's painful. We get that. We understand that.

Q: Is there a concern that he would be, I don't know, disinvited from Morehouse or anything? Is he planning to go?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, look, I'm certainly goi- -- not going to speculate or go into hypotheticals. The President is certainly looking forward to these commencements -- these two upcoming commencements -- Morehouse and the United States Military Academy next month. And he is -- he has done these many times before, understanding the important, critical -- not critical but important moment and how special that moment is for the graduates and their families. And he is going to do his best to meet that moment as it relates to what's going on, the pain that communities are feeling.

We're going to continue to have those conversations and be sensitive to that, understanding what people are going through.

Q: On the Supreme Court.


Q: It -- the Court appears pretty skeptical that federal law trumps state law in Idaho over the abortion ban there. I just wondered, you know, that -- EMTALA was a -- a major --


Q: -- part of the administration's efforts to sort of protect women or give additional healthcare to women. So, if that is on the chopping block, what else can the administration do?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, I'm going to be careful, because it's ongoing. So -- parts of this, especially because it's an ongoing litigation --

Q: Yeah.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: -- have to refer you to the Department of Justice.

More broadly, the administration is going to continue, certainly, to defend women's ability to ac- -- to access emergency care that they need, they should -- they should have under federal law. And so, that is a commitment that this administration is going to continue to ensure.

And -- and, so -- look, we're -- we're going to stay focused on that. We're going to let the -- the litigation process continue. So, just not going to get beyond that.

But, more broadly, we believe that women should not be denied the ne- -- the access of healthcare that they need.

We've been very clear in the Biden-Harris administration about how important it is that women get that emergency care. We're talking about lives. We're talking about women's lives here and being able to make those all-important decisions on their healthcare.

We've been consistent about that. We're going to continue that fight. And so, we remain focused on ensuring that we prevail in the courts, and that's our commitment to women.

Go ahead.

Q: Thanks, Karine.


Q: The House Speaker is heading to Columbia today. He's calling on the president of Columbia to resign. Does the President share that view? And what does he think of the way that the administration at Columbia has been handling this?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, going to be really mindful. Columbia is a private institution. We're not -- we -- I mean, we've been very consistent here about not commenting on personnel matters. That's something for Columbia University -- obviously, the board to speak to and the president -- right? -- to make that decision. So, I'm not going to comment on that. That is obviously the Speaker's privilege to -- to speak for himself and what he sees.

So, look, I would say, more broadly -- and I said this moments ago -- this is a deeply painful, painful moment for many communities, and we understand that. But the President believes that free speech, debate, and nondiscrimination on college campuses are important. They're important American values. And that -- and so, he'll always be very clear -- we will always be very clear about here -- about that here.

But, you know, protests must be peaceful. You know, students must be safe. When we see violent rhetoric, we have to call that out. When we see physical intimidation or grotesque antisemitic remarks, we have to speak that out. And you saw that from the President's statement when he -- this President's statement on Passover. He talked about that. He talked about action -- taking action and making sure that we're calling that out.

So, we're going to continue to do that forcefully, condemn antisemitism from this administration. We're going to contem- -- continue to do that. We're implementing, as you know, the -- the first-ever National Strategic Effort to Counter Antisemitism because there should be no place in this country in -- when it relates to that type of hate.

We saw what happened in 2017, Charlottesville. That was one of the reasons that this President decided to run in 2020. He ran in 2020 because of what he saw in Charlottesville and what was happening in the streets of Charlottesville -- -ville, the vile, just hateful rhetoric that we're seeing there.

So, I think Columbia is going to have to speak to their personnel issues. And what we will speak to is, more broadly, what we expect and what we want to see and how painful it is for many communities here.

Q: And then on TikTok. Now that the President has signed the bill, does the White House have a preference as to whether TikTok gets sold and remains operational in the U.S.? Or are you indifferent about whether it gets banned or sold?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Well, first of all, we've been very clear, members of Congress have been very clear, we do not want to see a ban. This is not about a ban. This is about divestment, selling -- right? -- being sold. This is about our national con- -- security. This is not concerns about Americans using TikTok. This is about PRC ownership, right? This is about the control of TikTok.

And so, want to be super, super clear. And so, that's what members of Congress moved forward with. That's what we supported. So, we wanted to see a divestment. We want it to be -- to see it being sold. And we do not -- we do not seek a ban. That is not what this bill is about -- or this now law is about, canceling it.

Q: Thanks, Karine. You say it's not about a ban. But the reality is -- is that finding a buyer for TikTok will be incredibly difficult, and the Chinese government also could intervene and block a sale. So, if it came to it, would the administration, then, support a ban, as the legislation is written?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, here's -- here's -- I think I want to be -- as it relates to China, they should allow it. Right? They should allow it to be sold. That's what I'll say there.

As it relates to the bill -- the law now -- there's time. We got to see how this plays out. We believe that it is possible. There are already American investors who are -- who are willing and are interested in buying TikTok. So, the interest is there. It's not like there isn't any.

And so, we're going to see. There's time -- there's time -- there's certainly time on the books to see how this plays out. We do not -- this -- this is not a ban. Again, this is about divestment. And that's what we want to see.

Q: Which American investors are interested?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I mean, you all have reported on it. There's reports out -- out there that there's a number of interested buyers -- a number of them. You guys have reported on that. I don't have a list to share.

So, we're going to let that process play out. But it's been reported by all of you.

Q: And just what's the President's personal reaction to what he's seeing playing out on these college campuses? What would he -- be his message to those who are peacefully -- peacefully protesting, you know, those who feel targeted on --


Q: -- you know, all sides of the community?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: No, I hear your question. I think the President has been very clear. He's put out -- he put out a statement. In his Passover statement, he talked about the -- it is -- we can't be silent here. Silent is complicit. And we can't allow that.

We sh- -- we believe in First Amendment rights, right? We believe in people being able to express themselves in a peaceful manner. But when we're talking about hateful rhetoric, when we're talking about violence, we have to call that out. We have to call that.

And we've been consistent here throughout this administration. The President has been consistent about it, obviously, since 2017, but even before that, when he saw what happened in Charlottesville. We have to call out hateful, violent rhetoric.

But, you know, we want to make sure that people have the opportunity to peacefully protest -- peacefully protest.

Go ahead.

Q: Karine, on that subject, President Biden once talked about the Vietnam War protests of his youth. And he said the reason why he didn't participate was because, quote, "I wore sport coats… I am who I am. I'm not big on flak jackets and tie-dye shirts. And, you know, that's not me."

Is that still his view about the protest movements? Or does he see them as -- as useful in shaping policy or shaping a discourse?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Look, obviously, the President, when he was talking about that, he was talking about the Vietnam War. That was a moment in time -- a specific -- you know, when he was younger and how he felt about that situation.

And as President, you know, as Commander-in-Chief, where he sits right now, behind that Resolute Desk, and what he understands, it's important to speak out. And he understands that, as a leader in this country, that when we see this type of antisemitic hate, this type of antisemitic vile -- vile, we have to be very clear. We have to show moral clarity. We have to call that out.

And I said this at the beginning: Students should feel safe, communities should feel safe, and we -- you know, we can't -- we can't stay silent. Obviously, it is a deeply painful moment. He sees that. He understands that. And he will always support and believes in free speech and debate and nondiscrimination on college campuses, as I said moments ago.

And so -- but we have to be able to do this and protest in a peaceful way. I don't think that takes away from the comments that you just made, that -- that you just gave back to me that the Pros- -- President made. I don't think that -- that that's any different -- right? -- than what the President is saying right now. Right?

You have to be able to -- be able to peacefully protest, but you got to call out hate. You got to call out hate.

Q: And then on TikTok. Is there any expectation that China could retaliate against U.S. techni- -- tech companies that are operating there?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I mean, look, I can't speak for -- for the Chi- -- the Chinese government. I can't. I mean, that's a hypothetical. I can't speak to that.

I can only speak to the importance of this -- this law moving forward -- this bill moving forward -- obviously, the President signed it to- -- signed today, so it's now law -- and the importance of making sure that we move forward with that divestment of TikTok.

We're talking about national security. We're talking about making sure we're protecting Americans' privacy, and that's what this is about. And we are not talking about Americans using TikTok. That's not what we're -- we're looking at here.

We want to make sure that there's a divestment, that, you know, TikTok should not be owned -- or Americans should not be -- should not be having to worry about using a platform that is owned by -- you know, by a country that's trying to harm us. That's the national security concern here.

Q: And will this law survive a constitutional challenge?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Look, I'm not going to speak to that. I mean, I think that's something that, obviously, DOJ will -- will deal with. I can't speak to -- to challenges. But obviously, it's -- it's law now. So, we're going to move forward with it.

Go ahead.

Q: Thank you. We are seeing some of these on-campus protests really heighten tensions and escalation across the country, not just at Columbia but public universities -- UT Austin, USC in California. Is there any concern about how law enforcement is handling these protesters?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I mean, look, I can't speak to what's going on on the ground. I know what UT -- what happened is just happening now, happening today. So, I have no idea on how -- how that's being -- how that's being dealt on the ground.

But, look, we've been very clear. We want to see this be peaceful. We understand it's deeply concerning. It is important that -- that communities feel safe and important that students feel safe. That's what we want to see. It should not be violent. It should not be hateful rhetoric here.

And so, that's what we're going to keep saying, keep calling on. And -- and we'll let the universities handle that process on how they're -- how they're dealing on the ground.

Q: Thank you. And if I may shift back to Ukraine for just a moment.


Q: President Zelenskyy said he and President Biden discussed this Global Peace Summit coming up this June in Switzerland on their call this week. What is the White House view at this point on what that summit could achieve? And would the President consider attending?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, nothing to share with you on the President's schedule. Obviously, it's an important conversation that Ukraine should be part of. We have always been very clear about that. I don't have anything to share beyond -- beyond that. I think, you know, this is something that Pres- -- the President of -- the President of Ukraine -- obviously, President Zelenskyy needs to lead on and -- and speak to. I just don't have anything else to share.

Obviously, we have shown our commitment to the great people of Ukraine as it relates to defending themselves against Russia's aggression. We've been pretty consistent about that. And we believe that we need to do everything that we can to make sure that they have what they need to fight for their democracy, to fight for their freedom. And we believe that they will prevail.

I'm just not going to get ahead of -- of a potential summit and what that might look like.

Go ahead, Tolu.

Q: Thanks, Karine. Two questions. First, the President expressed some regret about the border security bill not being a part of the supplemental. But he also said that he will address that another time, another place. Do you have any update on whether the President is --

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: And I also think, like, Mitch McConnell made a statement about it as well. So, I would certainly point you to what he said about the border security bill. And I think that's important -- right? -- because we need -- this is a bipartisan effort, and we need both sides.

Look, the President has been very clear. We need that bipartisan border security n- -- bill -- or the negotiation that came together on that, and we have to move forward with it. It came out of the Senate. It w- -- it got bipartisan support.

We heard from the former President, who said, "Don't move forward." He told Republicans to reject it. They did. And that's unfortunate. That's unfortunate.

Because it would have been the toughest, it would have been the fairest if it was -- if the President had an opportunity to sign that into law -- you know, law that we had seen in some time. And it would have addressed a lot of the concerns that Republicans have that we're seeing -- the challenges that we're seeing at the border.

So, I mean, he had an opportunity. You all -- you all listened to the President, right? So, he had an opportunity this morning, so he was going to take that opportunity to say how we need to continue to move forward with the border -- border -- border security negotiation -- or the plan that came out of the negotiation. So, he wants to see that.

It's -- it's a concern that majority of Americans have. And so, we want to see that move forward. And I think Mitch McConnell spoke for himself on that.

MR. MICHEL: Karine --

Q: Should we --


Q: -- interpret him saying he's going to come back to it as a sign that he's going to do some executive action in the coming weeks?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Oh, well, look, we've always been very clear. No executive action is actually going to do what that border -- border security plan would have done. Right? We believe that was a -- in order to move forward to deal with the challenges at the border, in order to actually deal with what we've been seeing with immigration -- a broken immigration system that has been -- that we've seen for decades -- that's the way to move forward.

Obviously, we're always going to look at our options. But we believe there's still an opportunity here. There's still an opportunity here. And I think -- I think Leader McConnell was -- was pretty clear about that, too, today. And --

Q: Then --

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Go ahead, go ahead. I have to --

Q: A really quick one on -- on taxes. The President earlier today said the 2017 tax bill that was passed under President Trump -- if he is reelected -- if President Biden is reelected, it would be dead and gone forever.


Q: That bill obviously included tax cuts for the wealthy, but it also included tax cuts across the board to the tax rates at various levels of income.


Q: Is the President saying that he would get rid of the entire tax bill and not allow those tax cuts to continue?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I think -- I think what the President was trying to say -- he was trying to make very clear that that was -- the 2017 tax bill was something that was for, you know, billionaires and corporations. And that's not what he's for. Right? He wants to -- he wants to make sure that the working class gets their fair share. He wants to make sure that the billionaires and corporations pay -- right? -- what they -- what they owe.

And so, he's talking about an economy -- what type of economy that he wants to build. You hear us say it all the time. He says it all the time: an economy from that -- that's built from the bottom up, middle out, that doesn't leave out working people, that doesn't leave out the middle class, that builds into the middle class. And I think that's what he was trying to speak to more broadly and how billionaires and corporations have to pay their fair share. He's always been very clear about that.

And 2017 tax bill does not do that. It does the opposite of that. And that's what we've seen from Republicans continuing -- like, when they put out their budget recently, that's what they're doing. They want to give them a break.

And what the President wants to do is give the middle class a break. He wants to give working people a break. And you -- you've seen that from his legis- -- from legislation that's been passed and trying to -- and trying to make sure that we do not leave communities behind, communities have been behind -- left behind for decades now.

Go ahead, Peter. I have to go into the Oval Office.

Q: Understood. I'll a- -- I'll ask two quick ones, one that developed in --


Q: -- the last hour, which is: On the third attempt in the last three weeks, Arizona state House lawmakers just passed a bill that would repeal the near-total ban on abortion in Arizona. The White House's view on that? It now, of course, moves to the state senate.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Okay. So, look, we've -- you've heard us talk about the 1864 law and how it just sets us back -- 1864. We're in 2024. And there's a law that -- that they wanted to move forward with that obviously would hurt women, would hurt -- hurt our reproductive rights and hurt -- hurt our -- obviously, women to make a decision about their healthcare.

And so, if this is -- I have not seen that report. But if this is the case --

Q: It is the case.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: -- that it has been repealed in one of the chambers, that's a good thing. Right? We're moving forward in the right direction. We're moving forward to where we are today in 2024, where we should be protecting our freedom, protecting a woman's right to make a very personal decision about her body.

Q: And then, last one, quickly. I know you've got to go.


Q: But the President didn't mention the words TikTok -- or maybe that's one word, TikTok, with no space between the two -- in his comments earlier today. (Laughter.) So, if you had an elevator --

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: (Laughs.) That's so precise.

Q: If you had an elevator pitch, there was 170 million Americans who use TikTok right now, what is the simple statement to those Americans right now who are saying, "The President of the United States just proposed -- or signed legislation that could ban a platform that I rely on, in some cases, for my livelihood"?

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I think I would just say what I've been repeating here from this podium for the past few minutes here, which is: This is not a ban. This is about divestment. This is about our national security. We are not saying that Americans -- we do not want Americans to use TikTok. That is not what we're saying. We want to make sure that Americans are protected -- are protected. And that is what this is about.

And so, we believe this law will get us there. We believe that we will be able to divest -- that TikTok will be able to divest. We believe that there is interest in -- in folks who want to buy TikTok, and we want to get there. We want to get there.

This is -- the President wants to protect Americans. He w- -- he wants to protect Americans' privacy. He wants to protect Americans from coun- -- a country, in this -- in this instance, that wants to potentially do us harm. And that's what he believes is important.

We're not saying we do not want TikTok to exist. We're not saying that we do not want Americans to use TikTok. We want to make sure that it's done in a way that we protect our national security and that we protect Americans.

Q: Thank you.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: All right. All right, everybody.

Q: Thanks, Karine.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I've got to go to the Oval.

Thanks, everybody. Have a good -- have a good week. I guess I'll see you in New York.

Q: Karine, if there are any pictures of the President with Edan, if you would share those before the newscast --

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I'll -- I'll check.

Q: -- tonight, we'd be grateful.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I'll check in.

Q: Thank you.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I'll check in. Thanks. Thank you.

3:49 P.M. EDT

Joseph R. Biden, Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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