Kamala Harris photo

Vice Presidential Pool Reports of February 19, 2022

February 19, 2022

Pool Reports by Eli Stokols, Los Angeles Times

Sent: Reports:
February 19, 2022
11:15 CET

VP pool report #1 - Motorcade rolling


Good morning. VPOTUS' motorcade is rolling at 11:13 a.m. from the RON back to the conference site, the Hotel Bayerischer Hof in the old city.

We saw her pass by the press vans in her limo briefly as we joined the motorcade. Driving time is about 15 minutes, and we're expecting just a few minutes to get in place before the speech begins.

Here is the day's official schedule (and, as a reminder, we were told last night there will be more informal pull asides today with other leaders that pool will not see but hopefully get readouts of afterward):

At 11:40AM CEST, the Vice President will deliver remarks at the Munich Security Conference. These remarks at the Conference Hall of Hotel Bayerischer Hof will be open to pre-credentialed press and livestreamed at whitehouse.gov/live.

At 1:45 PM CEST, the Vice President will hold a bilateral meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy. There will be a pool spray at the top of this meeting at the Commerzbank.

At 3:30PM CEST, the Vice President will meet with the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Olaf Scholz. There will be a pool spray at the top of this meeting at the Garden Salon, Atelier Garden Restaurant of Hotel Bayersicher Hof.

The Vice President will remain overnight in Munich, Germany.

February 19, 2022
11:23 CET

VP pool report #2 - speech excerpts

Motorcade still rolling, but VP's office passes along these excerpts from the speech —

Embargoed Until Delivery

Vice President Kamala Harris
Munich Security Conference
Saturday, February 19, 2022



Let me be clear, I can say with absolute certainty if Russia further invades Ukraine the United States, together with our Allies and partners, will impose significant, and unprecedented economic costs.


We have prepared economic measures that will be swift, severe, and united.

We will impose far-reaching financial sanctions and export controls.

We will target Russia's financial institutions and key industries.

And we will target those who are complicit and those who aid and abet this unprovoked invasion.

Make no mistake: the imposition of these sweeping and coordinated measures will inflict great damage on those who must be held accountable.


The United States, our allies, and our partners have achieved remarkable unity.

It is evident in: our shared acknowledgment of the threats, our united response, and our determination to uphold the international rules and norms.


In the face of Russian aggression, I have been reassured and heartened by the wide-spread agreement across the Trans-Atlantic community that these rules and norms will be defended.


Let the past few months be a reminder to all: defending the rules and norms, upholding our principles, this is the vital work of each generation.


Today, the United States, our allies and our partners, are closer together.

Today, we are clear in our purpose.

And today, we are even more confident in our vision.

Our strength must not be underestimated. It lies in our unity.

And as we have always shown it takes a lot more strength to build something up, than it takes to tear something down.

February 19, 2022
11:26 CET

VP pool report #3 - arrival at MSC site

Motorcade arrived at the Hotel Bayerischer Hof at 11:22 a.m. CEST (DC +6 hours). Uneventful drive on this sunny but cool morning. Pool, several vehicles behind VP's SUV, did not see her enter the building.

We are rushing to a balcony overlooking the stage to watch her speech, scheduled to begin at 11:40. A few embargoed excerpts just went out in the last pool report.

If you're awake back in the U.S., you can watch live on the MSC site or at whitehouse.gov/live

February 19, 2022
11:46 CET

VP pool report #4 - speech begins

VPOTUS took the stage at 11:44 a.m. local, after an intro from Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, chairman of the Munich Security Conference, who recalled how Joe Biden was the first VPOTUS to speak at the conference in 2009.

Remarks streaming live at whitehouse.gov/live

Fewer than 100 attendees filling most of the seats on the floor, and more in the balconies, along with lots of press on the back staircase and second level balcony.

SOS Blinken entered at 11:36 and took a seat at the end of the first row. He spoke with Sen. Rob Portman just before Harris came in. NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg at the other end of the first row. Also spotted in the second row: Sen. Any Klobuchar and, across the aisle, Sen. Joni Ernst. Sens. Speaker Nancy Pelosi also seated just below our balcony. Dick Durbin and Chris Coons also here and seated toward the back of the room.

VP nation security adviser Nancy McEldowney sat in the second row.

February 19, 2022
12:03 CET

VP pool report #5 - speech ends, Q&A underway

VPOTUS concluded her prepared remarks at 11:57 a.m. CEST. She received sustained applause.

She is now taking questions on stage from Wolfgang Ischinger, the conference chair.

Should still be available on livestream but will send along any news.

February 19, 2022
12:39 CET

VP pool report #6 - Q&A concludes

The short Q&A with VP and Ischinger concluded at 12:12. Pool left the balcony a few minutes later and is now in our hold room for a bit until the spray of the Zelensky bilat.

Her responses were mainly underlining the themes of her speech. When Ischinger asked her point-blank if she felt Europe was ready to face this security challenge, she spoke for several minutes about a unified West.

"I am reassured and heartened," she said, noting that "not everyone started out in the same place" but that "we came together and are now speaking with a unified voice." That, she said, came from "a practical realization of the moment that we are in."

Such moments, she said, "challenge us to ask what is our reason for being? And I think we all know the history of NATO and its reason for being this spirit behind history is the transatlantic community."

She concluded: "History will show that at this moment, we're standing strong."

February 19, 2022
14:13 CET

VP pool report #7 - Zelensky photo spray

Pool was ushered into the third floor room, glass ceilinged and ringed with blue drapery, at Commerzbank to stage for a photo spray about 20 minutes ahead of the spray.

At 2:09 p.m. CEST, VPOTUS and President Zelensky entered and stood about two feet apart and stared ahead at the gathered photographers and cameras. Both wore face masks. Behind them were their countries' flags.

Zelensky said "nice to meet you" upon entering and then, when Molly Nagle asked if he believed Putin has made a decision to invade, he said it again: "Nice to meet you. We'll talk about it."

Ushered out to hallway at 2:10 and will proceed shortly to the room where they will meet once the leaders are set.

February 19, 2022
14:19 CET

VP pool report #8 - Zelensky bilat spray

Pool was brought into the bilat room at 2:11 p.m. CEST.

VP and President Zelensky sat across two rectangular tables (pushed together) from one another, with aides at their sides.

Harris spoke first, said she looks forward to "hearing what your concerns are" and to reiterate the U.S. position on Ukraine.

"The United States stands with Ukraine," she continued.

Then Zelensky; speaking through an interpreter: "The only thing we want is to have peace."

"We're very grateful to the United States, to you personally and President Biden." He noted the bipartisan nature of the U.S. support for Ukraine.

He said he needs "specific steps," suggesting he will ask for additional defense aid, noting that Ukraine's army is "defending all of Europe."

Please check all quotes against transcript.

He did not respond to several shouted questions as pool was ushered out at 2:16.

Microphones and translation equipment are set up on the tables and there is a translator in an enclosed booth along the wall.

February 19, 2022
14:21 CET

VP Pool report #9 - bilat participants

From the VP's office:


U.S. Delegation:
1. Vice President Harris
2. T.H. Tina Flournoy, AP & Deputy Chief of Staff to the Vice President
3. T.H. Nancy McEldowney, AP & National Security Advisor to the Vice President
4. T.H. Karen Donfried, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs
5. T.H. Phil Gordon, SAP & Deputy National Security Advisor to the Vice President
6. T.H. Michael Fuchs, SAP & Deputy Chief of Staff to the Vice President
7. Mr. Dean Lieberman, NSC Director for Strategic Communications & Assistant Press Secretary
8. Ms. Heather Price, NSC Director for Western Europe

Ukraine Delegation:
1. H.E. Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine
2. H.E. Andriy Yermak, Head kid kmkof the Office of the President of Ukraine
3. H.E. Dmytro Kuleba, Minister for Foreign Affairs
4. H.E. Oleksii Reznikov, Minister of Defense
5. H.E. Andrii Sybiha, Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine and Chief Foreign Policy Adviser

February 19, 2022 [APP Note: Report #10 does not exist or was not received by the APP.]
February 19, 2022
15:36 CET

VP pool report #11 - photo spray w VP & Scholz

Pool moved into another room inside the Hotel Bayerischer Hof, a restaurant dining room where three flags (USA, EU and Germany) were positioned.

At 3:32 p.m. CEST, VPOTUS and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz walked in together and posed for photos. He took off his masked and gestures to her to do the same, which she did.

Both smiled through the clicking shutters. And neither responded to more shouted questions.

"Thank you," Scholz said in English before they walked out, putting their masks back on, less than a minute later.

This was the last event pool has access to today, but VPOTUS has another few hours of business at the conference. Pool will be holding on site.

February 19, 2022
19:35 CET

VP pool report #12* - motorcade rolling from MUC to RON

VPOTUS' motorcade was rolling away from the conference site at 7:33 p.m. CEST and is headed to the RON.

Pool has not seen the VP since the photo spray with Chancellor Scholz a few hours ago, but if we get any more details on who she's been meeting with the last few hours, I'll pass that along.

* The last pool report, for some of you, was wrongly numbered 12; it should have been numbered 11. This is the 12th VP pool report of the day. Sorry for the mistake.

February 19, 2022
19:45 CET

VP pool report #13 - RON arrival

Motorcade returned to the RON at 7:41 p.m.

Pool did not see the VP entering the RON.

That's it from here. Good night.

February 19, 2022
20:22 CET

VP pool report #14 - info on VP's other meetings

On background from a WH Official:

Today, on the margins of the Munich Security Conference, Vice President Kamala Harris met separately with Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany, President Ursula von der Leyen of the European Commission and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of Greece. In each meeting, they discussed Ukraine, recent developments, and the united Transatlantic response. In particular, they discussed the swift and severe economic measures that the U.S., the EU, and others are poised to impose if Russia further invades Ukraine. They also discussed ongoing efforts at both deterrence and diplomacy.

Vice President Kamala Harris also met with Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister Benny Gantz. They reaffirmed the strength of US-Israel relationship and discussed our efforts to address the threat posed by Iran and its proxies.

Kamala Harris, Vice Presidential Pool Reports of February 19, 2022 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/354566

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