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Press Conference: Karine Jean-Pierre Holds a Press Briefing at The White House - April 2, 2024

  • John Kirby
    Person
  • Karine Jean-Pierre
    Person
  • Question
    Person
Unknown

Karine Jean-Pierre

Positive
00:00:00-00:00:02 (3 sec)
Good afternoon, everybody. 1

Question

Positive
00:00:02-00:00:04 (2 sec)
Good afternoon. 2

Karine Jean-Pierre

Neutral
00:00:04-00:00:11 (7 sec)
No bunny today. No bunny. Just -- just me and the Admiral and the team. [Laughs] Okay. 3

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Negative
00:00:11-00:00:36 (25 sec)
So, yesterday, the Florida Supreme Court upheld the state's dangerous abortion ban, putting desperately needed medical care further out of reach for millions of women. What's worse, this ruling is also expected to trigger Governor DeSantis's even more extreme ban that would prevent women from accessing care before many even know they are pregnant. 4

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:00:36-00:00:53 (17 sec)
We will continue to stand with the vast majority of Americans who support a woman's right to choose. President Biden and Vice President Harris will continue to work to protect reproductive freedom and call on Congress to pass a law restoring the protections of Roe v. Wade. 5

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:00:53-00:01:22 (29 sec)
Second, starting this week, the White House will push congressional Republicans to extend funding for the Affordable -- the Affordable Connectivity Program. Created as part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the program is helping over 23 million Americans save between 30 bucks and 75 bucks per month on high-speed Internet costs. But funding for the program is set to expire, and millions of Americans will lose this benefit in the coming weeks. 6

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Negative
00:01:22-00:01:33 (10 sec)
Six months ago, President Biden sent a request to Congress for $6 billion in supplemental funding to extend the program, but Republicans in Congress have failed to act. 7

Karine Jean-Pierre

Negative
00:01:33-00:01:47 (15 sec)
If congressional Republicans continue to do nothing, tens of millions of their own constituents will see their Internet cost go up. And some may lose access to high-speed Internet altogether. 8

Karine Jean-Pierre

Leans Positive
00:01:47-00:02:15 (28 sec)
Finally -- actually, additionally -- under the President's Unity Agenda, we are prioritizing effort to counter the trafficking of illicit drugs to save lives. We are leading initiatives to step up counternarcotics cooperation, including with Mexico and the PRC, and launch the Global Coalition to Address Synthetic Drug Threats, which brings together more than 150 countries against cartels and illicit finance. 9

Karine Jean-Pierre

Somewhat Negative
00:02:15-00:02:36 (21 sec)
Working with our Mexican -- Mexican partners, we have charged leaders of the [DEL: Sinula :DEL] -- [DEL: Sinula :DEL] [Sinaloa] cartel. And yesterday, we charged 41 individuals connected to the Jala- -- [DEL: Jalasco :DEL] [Jalisco] New Generation Cartel. To date, we have sanctioned over 290 individuals and entities involved in the global illicit drug trade. 10

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:02:36-00:02:59 (23 sec)
A lot more work is needed. And that's why the President is pushing hard for the House to pass the Senate's border security agreement -- or for -- for Congress, more broadly, obviously, because it did not get thr- -- did not get out of the Senate yet -- for Congress to push forth the border security agreement, which would provide additional technology to stop these illicit drugs. 11

Karine Jean-Pierre

Somewhat Positive
00:02:59-00:03:16 (18 sec)
Now, it's important to acknowledge when a mistake has been made and take responsibility for it. So, I want to recognize the Daily Caller for having the integrity to retract their story about the false claims that circulated this week about the Easter Egg Roll. 12

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Negative
00:03:16-00:03:34 (18 sec)
Now, I'm quoting from their retraction here: "The ban of religious symbolism on eggs as part of the White House Easter Egg Art Contest has been longstanding, dating back decades, and the Biden administration did not make any modifications to this rule." 13

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:03:34-00:03:40 (6 sec)
So, we hope others learn from their good example. So, I'll leave that there. 14

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Negative
00:03:40-00:04:07 (27 sec)
And finally -- finally, I want to read out the President -- the President who -- the President's call. He called Chef José Andrés to express that he's heartbroken by his -- by this news of the airstrike that killed seven aid workers and to express and share his deepest condolences. The President conveyed he is grieving with the entire World Kitchen -- World Central Kitchen family. 15

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Positive
00:04:07-00:04:26 (19 sec)
The President felt it was important to recognize the tremendous contribution World Central Kitchen made -- has made to the people in Gaza and the people -- and people around the world. The President conveyed he will make clear to Israel that humanitarian aid workers must be protected. 16

Karine Jean-Pierre

Somewhat Positive
00:04:26-00:04:33 (7 sec)
Now, as you can see, Admiral John Kirby is here to discuss the President's call with President Xi and -- and events in the Middle East. 17

Karine Jean-Pierre

Somewhat Positive
00:04:33-00:04:34 (1 sec)
Admiral, the floor is yours. 18

John Kirby

Somewhat Positive
00:04:34-00:04:38 (3 sec)
Thank you, Karine. 19

John Kirby

Positive
00:04:38-00:04:40 (2 sec)
Good afternoon, everyone. 20

Question

Positive
00:04:40-00:04:41 (1 sec)
Good afternoon. 21

John Kirby

Unknown
00:04:41-00:04:53 (13 sec)
As you all know, President Biden spoke by phone today with President Xi -- Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China. The purpose of the call was to build on the two leaders' meeting in Woodside, California, back in November of last year. 22

John Kirby

Positive
00:04:53-00:05:25 (32 sec)
Over the course of about an hour and 45 minutes, the two leaders held a candid and constructive discussion on a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues, including areas of cooperation and areas of differences. They encouraged continued progress on issues discussed at the Woodside Summit, including counternarcotics cooperation, ongoing military-to-military communications, talks to address artificial-intelligence-related risks, and continuing efforts on climate change and people-to-people exchanges. 23

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:05:25-00:05:36 (11 sec)
President Biden also emphasized the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and he reaffirmed the importance of the rule of law and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. 24

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:05:36-00:05:52 (16 sec)
He raised concerns over the PRC's support for Russia's defense industrial base and its impact on European and transatlantic security. And he emphasized that the United States's -- he emphasized the U.S.'s enduring commitment to the complete denu- -- denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. 25

John Kirby

Very Negative
00:05:52-00:06:02 (10 sec)
President Biden also raised continued concerns about the PRC's unfair trade policies and non-market economic practices, which harm American workers and families. 26

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:06:02-00:06:15 (13 sec)
President Biden also emphasized that the United States will continue to take necessary action to prevent advanced U.S. technologies from being used to undermine our national security, without unduly limiting trade and investment. 27

John Kirby

Negative
00:06:15-00:06:22 (7 sec)
The President also repeated his call for China to release U.S. citizens who are wrongfully detained or under exit bans. 28

John Kirby

Leans Positive
00:06:22-00:06:34 (12 sec)
Now, we believe that there is no substitute for regular communication at the leader level to effectively manage this complex and often tense bilateral relationship, and both presidents agreed to pick up the phone and speak when needed. 29

John Kirby

Somewhat Positive
00:06:34-00:06:48 (14 sec)
Following the leaders' call, we will continue to advance our interests through Cabinet-level diplomacy, including visits to China by Secretary of the Treasury Yellen and in coming days -- I'm sorry, in coming days -- and by Secretary Blinken in coming weeks. 30

John Kirby

Very Negative
00:06:48-00:07:06 (18 sec)
Now, if I could just -- as Karine noted, just turn briefly to events in the Middle East. We were outraged to learn of an IDF strike that killed a number of civilian humanitarian workers yesterday from the World Central Kitchen, which has been relentless in working to get food to those who are hungry in Gaza and, quite frankly, around the world. 31

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:07:06-00:07:09 (4 sec)
We send our deepest condolences to their families and loved ones. 32

John Kirby

Positive
00:07:09-00:07:27 (17 sec)
We've seen the comments from Prime Minister Netanyahu and from the Israeli Defense Forces about their commitment to conduct an investigation. As we understand it, a preliminary investigation has been completed today and presented to the Army Chief of Staff, and we'll -- we'll obviously look to see what they -- what they discover in this preliminary one. 33

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:07:27-00:07:38 (12 sec)
But we expect a broader investigation to be conducted and to be done so in a swift and comprehensive manner. We hope that those findings will be made public and that there is appropriate accountability held. 34

John Kirby

Very Negative
00:07:38-00:07:54 (16 sec)
But -- I'm sorry. More than 200 aid workers have been killed in this conflict, making it one of the worst for aid workers in recent history. This incident is emblematic of a larger problem and evidence of why distribution of aid in Gaza has been so challenging. 35

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:07:54-00:08:08 (13 sec)
But what -- beyond the strike, what is clear is that the IDF must do much more -- must do -- must do much more to improve deconfliction processes so that civilians and humanitarian aid workers are protected. 36

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:08:08-00:08:17 (9 sec)
The U.S. will continue to press Israel to do more as well to ensure the safety of humanitarian workers. And we'll continue to do all we can to deliver this assistance to Palestinian civilians in Gaza. 37

John Kirby

Somewhat Positive
00:08:17-00:08:18 (1 sec)
Thank you. 38

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:08:18-00:08:19 (1 sec)
Go ahead. 39

Question

Very Positive
00:08:19-00:08:28 (9 sec)
Thanks. John, do you have any worries regarding Israel and Gaza about the floating dock? And how can aid workers be protected? 40

John Kirby

Very Negative
00:08:28-00:08:30 (2 sec)
"Worries" -- what do you mean by "worries"? 41

Question

Unknown
00:08:30-00:08:32 (2 sec)
Any concerns about its status, viability? 42

John Kirby

Slightly Positive
00:08:32-00:08:34 (3 sec)
Well, I mean, let me break that up -- 43

Question

Unknown
00:08:34-00:08:34 ( sec)
[Inaudible] 44

John Kirby

Unknown
00:08:34-00:08:36 (1 sec)
-- a couple of ways. 45

Question

Slightly Positive
00:08:36-00:08:37 (1 sec)
Yeah. 46

John Kirby

Unknown
00:08:37-00:08:46 (9 sec)
I mean, obvi- -- obviously the temporary pier -- it's known as a JLOTS -- joint logistics over-the-shore -- it's on its way to the Eastern Mediterranean right now. 47

John Kirby

Neutral
00:08:46-00:09:05 (19 sec)
It's not -- hasn't arrived yet, and it'll take some time once it gets there to be assembled and to achieve what we call interim operating capability. We expect that -- we expect that that will happen in coming weeks. There's no concern in terms of our ability and the skills taken to -- needed to build it and to get it up and running. 48

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:09:05-00:09:29 (25 sec)
What we are working with partners in the region are two things. One is the logistics flow, getting -- getting the maritime materials to the pier, and then working the Israelis, in particular, about how that pier is protected and secured and how the aid, the material gets from the pier into Gaza and further distributed. 49

John Kirby

Unknown
00:09:29-00:09:31 (2 sec)
Those modalities are still being worked out. 50

Question

Slightly Positive
00:09:31-00:09:36 (4 sec)
And do the recent events, like the strike you referenced, raise additional -- 51

John Kirby

Very Negative
00:09:36-00:09:54 (19 sec)
Oh, believe me, we're under no -- no illusion about the fact that Gaza is a war zone. And forced protection of our troops, which will not be entering Gaza, will be first and foremost in the President's mind as well as our military leaders to make sure that they can operate that pier -- assemble it and operate it in a safe way. 52

John Kirby

Very Negative
00:09:54-00:10:04 (9 sec)
But, believe me, we're -- we're well aware Gaza is a -- is a war zone. And, frank- -- fra- -- that it is a war zone is, again, what makes it so challenging to get the humanitarian aid to people in need. 53

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:10:04-00:10:04 (1 sec)
Go ahead, Nancy. 54

Question

Very Negative
00:10:04-00:10:20 (16 sec)
Thanks. John, you said that the White House is "outraged" by the strike that killed these World Central Kitchen workers. Has the White House already conveyed that outrage to anyone in the Israeli government? And what was their response? 55

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:10:20-00:10:30 (10 sec)
Well, I won't speak for the Israelis. We -- we've been very clear about our feelings over -- over this particular strike and our expectations of -- of the Israelis. 56

Question

Very Positive
00:10:30-00:10:47 (16 sec)
Have they provided or has the Pentagon been able to gain any understanding of what happened here yet? I know it's early, but it sounds, based on what José Andrés has said, that these workers were doing everything right. Their vehicle was marked. They were in a safe zone. 57

John Kirby

Slightly Positive
00:10:47-00:10:47 ( sec)
Yeah. 58

Question

Unknown
00:10:47-00:10:48 (1 sec)
What more could they have done? 59

John Kirby

Leans Negative
00:10:48-00:11:04 (16 sec)
Yeah. It's really -- I mean, it's devastating to -- to see these images and to hear these early reports about the steps that they tried to take to protect themselves. But the Israelis -- look, they've already said this was on them and they're doing this investigation. 60

John Kirby

Positive
00:11:04-00:11:13 (10 sec)
We obviously want to -- want to make sure that that investigation gets completed and is as transparent as possible and, as I said in my opening statement, that there's accountability to be -- to be held here. 61

Question

Somewhat Negative
00:11:13-00:11:30 (16 sec)
One quick question on -- on China. What was the President's message to the President when it comes to Chinese misinformation campaigns or any effort by the Chinese government or people associated with the Chinese government to interfere with the 2024 election? 62

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:11:30-00:11:47 (17 sec)
I would just say that we've been clear consistently, even going back to the November meeting in California, about our concerns over our own election security and -- and efforts by certain actors, including some from the PRC, to -- to affect that. 63

Question

Somewhat Negative
00:11:47-00:11:49 (2 sec)
So, there was no new message in this conversation? 64

John Kirby

Unknown
00:11:49-00:11:51 (2 sec)
I don't have a new message to read out to you today. 65

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:11:51-00:11:52 (2 sec)
Go ahead, Selina. 66

Question

Very Negative
00:11:52-00:12:04 (12 sec)
Thanks, Admiral. On the death of those World Central Kitchen aid workers, which includes one American who was killed, Netanyahu's reaction was, quote, "It happens in war." What is your reaction to that comment from Netanyahu? 67

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:12:04-00:12:19 (15 sec)
I don't think it'd be useful for me to get into a tit for tat here with the Prime Minister of Israel from the podium. We've been very clear about our expectations for this investigation. We noted that the Prime Minister said himself there will be an investigation. So has his military said that. 68

John Kirby

Slightly Positive
00:12:19-00:12:30 (11 sec)
We look forward to that investigation being thorough and qui- -- and swiftly done and, as I said, that -- that it'll be transparent, the results of it, and that if there's accountability that needs to be had, that it will be had. 69

Question

Unknown
00:12:30-00:12:38 (9 sec)
But how can you take Netanyahu at his word? As Nancy was saying, this was a deconflicted zone. They had marked their car. They had even coordinated their movements with the IDF. 70

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:12:38-00:12:50 (11 sec)
Yeah, and as I said in my opening statement, the -- obviously, setting aside this incident, because this isn't the first one, there are issues of deconfliction that clearly need to be fleshed out and improved. 71

Question

Leans Negative
00:12:50-00:12:55 (6 sec)
So, how can the U.S. continue to send aid to Israel without any conditions? Yes, they have a right to defend -- 72

John Kirby

Unknown
00:12:55-00:12:59 (3 sec)
We're not sending aid to Israel. We're sending aid into Gaza. And that's -- 73

Question

Slightly Negative
00:12:59-00:13:00 (2 sec)
Well, weapons. How can they -- 74

Question

Unknown
00:13:00-00:13:01 (1 sec)
Military aid. 75

Question

Unknown
00:13:01-00:13:03 (2 sec)
How can the U.S. continue to send military aid to Is- -- 76

John Kirby

Unknown
00:13:03-00:13:05 (2 sec)
Oh, military assistance. 77

Question

Slightly Negative
00:13:05-00:13:08 (3 sec)
-- Israel without any conditions? Is there no red line that -- 78

John Kirby

Unknown
00:13:08-00:13:08 ( sec)
Now, we -- 79

Question

Unknown
00:13:08-00:13:09 (1 sec)
-- can be crossed here? 80

John Kirby

Slightly Negative
00:13:09-00:13:21 (12 sec)
You know, we've had this -- we've had this discussion, you and me, quite a bit from up here. They're still under a viable threat of Hamas. We're still going to make sure that they can defend themselves and that the 7th of October doesn't happen again. 81

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:13:21-00:13:40 (18 sec)
That doesn't mean that it's a free pass, that -- that we look the other way when something like this happens or that we aren't -- and haven't since the beginning of the conflict -- urge the Israelis to be more precise, to be more careful, and, quite frankly, to increase the nu- -- the amount of humanitarian assistance that gets in. 82

John Kirby

Unknown
00:13:40-00:13:54 (14 sec)
You know, I haven't been asked about it yet, but I expect that I would be. You know, there was a discussion just yesterday with our Israeli counterparts about Rafah. Now, this one was done virtually. We expect there will be an in-person meeting here in a week's time or so. 83

John Kirby

Unknown
00:13:54-00:14:05 (11 sec)
But the whole reason to have that meeting was to talk about our concerns over a major ground operation in Rafah and to present viable alternatives for them to be more precise and more targeted. 84

John Kirby

Very Negative
00:14:05-00:14:13 (8 sec)
So, the idea that we're -- that we're [DEL: whirstling :DEL] [whistling] past the graveyard here and we're not paying attention to -- to the civilian casualties or the civilian suffering is just not true. 85

Question

Slightly Positive
00:14:13-00:14:18 (5 sec)
Right. But these are verbal urgings, verbal commitments. There's no other incentive besides -- 86

John Kirby

Unknown
00:14:18-00:14:19 (1 sec)
I -- I know -- 87

Question

Unknown
00:14:19-00:14:21 (2 sec)
-- the urges and the discussions, right? 88

John Kirby

Positive
00:14:21-00:14:34 (14 sec)
-- you want us -- you want us to hang some sort of condition over their neck. And what I'm telling you is that we continue to -- to work with the Israelis to make sure that they are as precise as c- -- as they can be and that more aid is getting in. And -- and we're going to continue to -- to take that approach. 89

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:14:34-00:14:35 (1 sec)
Go ahead, Matt. 90

Question

Very Negative
00:14:35-00:14:43 (8 sec)
John, I just wanted to follow up. Do you guys have confirmation of the nationalities of the victims who were -- who were killed in -- in the strike -- 91

John Kirby

Unknown
00:14:43-00:14:44 ( sec)
I -- 92

Question

Unknown
00:14:44-00:14:45 (1 sec)
-- and that one was a U.S.-Canadian national? 93

John Kirby

Neutral
00:14:45-00:14:59 (14 sec)
I can confirm that one was a dual-national American citizen. But I don't -- I couldn't speak with authority about the nationalities of all of those. And as I understand it, I mean, there could be additional casualties coming in terms of the count. I just don't know. 94

Question

Slightly Positive
00:14:59-00:15:05 (5 sec)
And do you know if there has been any outreach to the family of that dual-national citizen from the White House? 95

John Kirby

Positive
00:15:05-00:15:12 (8 sec)
The State Department has done some initial outreach, and I would fully expect you'll -- you'll see outreach from us at the appropriate time. 96

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:15:12-00:15:13 (1 sec)
Go ahead, Danny. 97

Question

Very Positive
00:15:13-00:15:25 (11 sec)
Thanks, Karine. Thanks, Admiral. Does -- does the White House accept Prime Minister Netanyahu's explanation that this incident was "unintentional," as he put it? 98

John Kirby

Unknown
00:15:25-00:15:30 (5 sec)
I think the investigation will bear that out. 99

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:15:30-00:15:30 (1 sec)
Kelly O. 100

Question

Leans Positive
00:15:30-00:15:56 (25 sec)
Sir, do you think that -- given these circumstances, is there a role for some kind of a protective force for aid workers, given the threat of widespread famine and concerns about the -- you've already discussed the JLOT[S] coming in and so forth. Is there a -- a role that could be considered to try to protect aid workers with a neutral-party security force? 101

John Kirby

Slightly Positive
00:15:56-00:16:16 (20 sec)
That protective force ought to be the IDF, Kelly, as we've said. And as they conduct operations in an urban, highly populated environment, they have a concomitant obligation to take care of the civilians that are living there and the civilians, quite frankly, that are being moved about by the combat operations that are being conducted in a very confined space. They have that obligation. 102

Question

Slightly Negative
00:16:16-00:16:22 (6 sec)
Are you concerned that aid will be cut off for some period of time now? Because José Andrés has said they were -- 103

John Kirby

Slightly Positive
00:16:22-00:16:22 (1 sec)
He has said -- yeah. 104

Question

Very Negative
00:16:22-00:16:32 (10 sec)
-- suspending operations for a period. The World Food Program is having difficulties. It seems like this incident is exacerbating the crisis. 105

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:16:32-00:16:48 (16 sec)
It certainly isn't helping. There is no question about that. And we obviously respect Chef Andrés's decision not to continue operations, at least for a time. Certainly, we respect that. And -- and others may make that decision, as you talked about the World Food Program. 106

John Kirby

Very Negative
00:16:48-00:17:07 (19 sec)
We're not seeing a wholesale declination here of humanitarian assistance in there. But obviously, yes, that's a concern. The more violent it gets for humanitarian aid workers -- and as I said, this is one of the worst in recent history -- the less likely it is that they're going to be willing to take those risks, which means it's more likely that the people of Gaza are going to just suffer all the more. 107

John Kirby

Positive
00:17:07-00:17:09 (2 sec)
So, yes, it's a concern. 108

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:17:09-00:17:10 (1 sec)
Go ahead, Nandita. 109

Question

Very Negative
00:17:10-00:17:31 (21 sec)
Thank you, Karine. Secretary Blinken, during his presser in Paris, did not condemn the airstrike even though, as you confirmed, there was a dual American-Canadian citizen who was killed. The French Foreign Minister, who was at the same presser, did. You said you're outraged. Why -- why is the U.S. not condemning this strike? 110

John Kirby

Very Negative
00:17:31-00:17:44 (14 sec)
I think by out- -- by saying we're "outraged," I think you can fairly characterize that as condemning the strike itself. Of course, I mean, nobody wants to see this kind of violence happen to humanitarian aid workers who, as was noted earlier, were doing all the right things. 111

Question

Unknown
00:17:44-00:17:56 (12 sec)
And just to follow up to what, you know, was asked earlier about the -- about the floating pier. Are you considering moving it off the coast of Gaza? I mean, just trying to figure out how -- 112

John Kirby

Slightly Positive
00:17:56-00:17:58 (2 sec)
Well, by definition, it's going to be operating off the coast. 113

Question

Very Positive
00:17:58-00:18:07 (9 sec)
Sure. But, like, further away. I mean, how do you ensure that any private partners that the U.S. ends up partnering with to deliver aid is actually protected given the recent set of strikes? 114

John Kirby

Positive
00:18:07-00:18:18 (11 sec)
Right. That's what I said we're working on right now. I mean, force protection for the troops and the people that are going to be operating the pier is obviously going to be a paramount concern. But it's only as good as the aid that gets to the pier and then gets into Gaza. 115

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:18:18-00:18:31 (13 sec)
So, there's going to have to be plans made -- plans with partners -- to do everything that we can to ensure that that aid is safely assembled and collected at the pier and then safely distributed into Gaza. 116

John Kirby

Leans Positive
00:18:31-00:18:38 (8 sec)
It's going to be a multistep process. We'll be responsible for some parts of that, but not all of it. That's going to take some teamwork, and we're working our way through that right now. 117

Question

Very Positive
00:18:38-00:18:59 (21 sec)
I just have a quick clarification on something that the Secretary said, again, in Paris. He appeared to suggest that Iran delivered missiles to Russia and that those are being used by Moscow to target the Ukrainians. I mean, can you confirm if that was the case -- not just drone missiles but ballistic missiles? And if -- if yes, since when has this transfer been underway? 118

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:18:59-00:19:16 (16 sec)
I am not aware of specific verification that we can give to Iranian missiles being delivered to Russia for use in Ukraine. They certainly continue to deliver drones and actually helping the Russians manufacture Iranian-designed drones. 119

John Kirby

Unknown
00:19:16-00:19:30 (14 sec)
And we do know that the Russians are and have been using now for quite some time ballistic missiles that they have gotten from North Korea. But I'm not -- I'm not personally aware of -- of any -- any verification that Iranian missiles have been -- have been transferred and used. 120

Question

Somewhat Positive
00:19:30-00:19:32 (2 sec)
Thank you. 121

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:19:32-00:19:32 (1 sec)
Go ahead. 122

Question

Very Positive
00:19:32-00:19:47 (14 sec)
Thank you, Karine. Admiral, you said that there is going to be an investigation into the World Central Kitchen strike and you're reserving the U.S.'s judgment until that's completed. But what's a reasonable timeframe for that investigation to be concluded? And how regularly will the U.S. be getting updates on it? 123

John Kirby

Positive
00:19:47-00:20:00 (13 sec)
I think in terms of timeframe, as I said in my opening statement, we -- we believe an investigation can be thoroughly conducted in a swift manner. Now, what is swift? I think, obviously, we're not going to dictate a date on the calendar to the Israelis. 124

John Kirby

Positive
00:20:00-00:20:17 (17 sec)
But it's -- it's noteworthy that just before coming out here I was informed that they have completed a preliminary investigation and are reporting that up the chain of command. That's -- that's good. That means that they've gotten some basic findings and some initial conclusions that they're -- that they're willing to make. 125

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:20:17-00:20:34 (17 sec)
They have noted publicly that -- that they were responsible here. So, that's another -- that's another reason to suspect that it shouldn't need to be a long, drawn-out, weeks-long investigation. I think something like this could probably resolve- -- be resolved in a -- in a matter of days. 126

Question

Slightly Negative
00:20:34-00:20:42 (8 sec)
On the strike in Damascus. Does the U.S. expect Iran to retaliate? And if so, how? 127

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:20:42-00:21:00 (18 sec)
Well, I can't predict what the Supreme Leader and what the IRGC will decide to do or not. I don't know -- in terms of retaliation, I assume you mean against the United States. Let me make it clear: We had nothing to do with what -- the strike in Damascus. We weren't involved in any way whatsoever. 128

John Kirby

Very Negative
00:21:00-00:21:08 (8 sec)
So, the comments by the Iranian Foreign Minister that somehow we're to be held to account or that we're to blame is just nonsense. We had nothing to do with it. 129

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:21:08-00:21:25 (17 sec)
We will, as we always have, take our force protection very seriously to protect our troops and our facilities in Iraq and Syria. And as we have demonstrated in the past, as President Biden has made very, very clear through the actions he has ordered, we will -- we will do what we need to do to protect those troops and facilities. 130

Question

Very Positive
00:21:25-00:21:31 (6 sec)
And finally, if I may, just on China. You said that the two leaders made a commitment to pick up the phone and call each other when needed. I'm curious -- 131

John Kirby

Unknown
00:21:31-00:21:32 (1 sec)
When is the next one? 132

Question

Neutral
00:21:32-00:21:37 (5 sec)
No, I'm curious why it was needed now. Why not next week, next month? Was there a particular catalyst that they needed to have this phone call -- 133

John Kirby

Very Negative
00:21:37-00:21:37 ( sec)
No. No, no -- 134

Question

Unknown
00:21:37-00:21:37 (1 sec)
-- today? 135

John Kirby

Positive
00:21:37-00:22:02 (25 sec)
-- not at all. I mean, they met, again, in November. And the teams have been working a lot since November on fentanyl precursors, on climate change, on economic practices. So, there's been -- on artificial intelligence. There's been a lot of staff-level work. And both presidents thought that now, a few months later, this was a good time to kind of check in with one another, see how that's going, discuss the future. 136

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:22:02-00:22:04 (2 sec)
Go ahead. 137

Question

Positive
00:22:04-00:22:21 (17 sec)
Hi. Thanks, John. Just wanted to follow up with a question that came from the front row about the conditions of military aid, and you said that the questioner wanted you to hang some conditions over their necks -- that's the Israelis -- and your tone suggested you wouldn't do that. Why not? 138

John Kirby

Somewhat Positive
00:22:21-00:22:37 (16 sec)
I've already answered this question a whole bunch of times. We believe that the approach that we're taking is working, in terms of making it clear to the Israelis what our expectations are. 139

John Kirby

Leans Negative
00:22:37-00:22:48 (11 sec)
I'm not going to get ahead of decisions one way or another that we might take in the future. What I'm saying is: Right now, we are continuing to support Israel because they continue to need military assistance because they continue to face a viable threat. 140

Question

Very Negative
00:22:48-00:23:11 (22 sec)
But on the point of conditions, the President, on February 8th, issued a memo. And it said -- and you already know this, but just for context. It said that it was the policy of this administration to "prevent arms transfers that risk facilitating or otherwise contributing to violations of human rights or international humanitarian law." 141

Question

Very Negative
00:23:11-00:23:17 (7 sec)
Is firing a missile at people delivering food and killing them not a violation of international humanitarian law? 142

John Kirby

Somewhat Positive
00:23:17-00:23:25 (8 sec)
Well, the Israelis have already admitted that this was a mistake that they made. They're doing an investigation. They'll get to the bottom of this. Let's not get ahead of that. 143

John Kirby

Negative
00:23:25-00:23:36 (10 sec)
Your -- your question presumes, at this very early hour, that it was a deliberate strike, that they knew exactly what they were hitting, that they were hitting aid workers and did it on purpose. And there's no evidence of that. 144

John Kirby

Slightly Negative
00:23:36-00:23:55 (20 sec)
I would also remind you, sir, that we continue to look at incidents as they occur. The State Department has a process in place. And to date, as you and I are speaking, they have not found any incidents where the Israelis have violated international humanitarian law. And lest you think we don't take it seriously, I can assure you that we do. We look at this in real time. 145

Question

Leans Positive
00:23:55-00:24:00 (5 sec)
They have never violated international humanitarian law ever in the past five to six months? 146

John Kirby

Negative
00:24:00-00:24:07 (7 sec)
I'm telling you the State Department has looked at incidents in the past and has yet to determine that any of those incidents violate international humanitarian law. 147

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:24:07-00:24:08 (1 sec)
Go ahead, Nadia. 148

Question

Very Negative
00:24:08-00:24:26 (18 sec)
Thank you, Karine. Mr. Kirby, Israel has killed a senior Hamas leader in Beirut with precision weapons in an area where thousands of civilians were there. They killed senior Iranian officials in Damascus -- in the heart of Damascus with serious -- there was thousands of civilians there as well. 149

Question

Very Positive
00:24:26-00:24:50 (24 sec)
Does it make sense to you that a vehicle marked with "World Central Kitchen," after coordinating with the Israelis, that they didn't see it? And doesn't it -- this debunk your theory and defense of Israel that it is difficult for them because Hamas embedded with the civilian population when they can go after Hamas leaders in the heart of a civilian population in Beirut and in Damascus? 150

John Kirby

Slightly Negative
00:24:50-00:24:55 (5 sec)
To your second question, no. It's not my theory. I have talked about -- 151

Question

Leans Positive
00:24:55-00:24:55 ( sec)
Defense -- 152

John Kirby

Somewhat Negative
00:24:55-00:25:12 (16 sec)
Wait. Now, just -- hang on just a second now. W- -- I've talked about this for months now. Fighting in an urban, highly populated, condensed environment like that is tough. But they have taken strikes against Hamas leaders in -- successfully taken strikes against Hamas leaders in Gaza. 153

John Kirby

Slightly Negative
00:25:12-00:25:27 (16 sec)
I can't speak to what happened in Damascus. That -- I can only tell you that the United States wasn't involved. So, I'm not going to talk about the details of that whatsoever. I'm telling you that they have taken precise strikes against Hamas in Gaza. They have also taken strikes that have been not precise. 154

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:25:27-00:25:40 (13 sec)
It looks as if, very clearly, what happened yesterday is one of those examples. They'll investigate that. And our expectation is -- and we've made this clear to them -- that they'll come clean about what they've learned, they'll be fully transparent, and if people need to be held accountable, that they'll be held accountable. 155

Question

Somewhat Positive
00:25:40-00:25:41 (1 sec)
Admiral. 156

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:25:41-00:25:42 (1 sec)
Go ahead. 157

Question

Negative
00:25:42-00:25:56 (14 sec)
Thank you. John, there's another case of somebody who was in this country illegally allegedly murdering a young woman -- this time in Michigan. Her name was Ruby Garcia. Donald Trump is out there now calling this "Biden's border bloodbath." What do you call it? 158

John Kirby

Very Negative
00:25:56-00:26:14 (19 sec)
Well, first of all, while I'm not aware of this -- the specifics of this case, I mean, that's just terrible news. And our thoughts and prayers obviously go to the family of Ms. Garcia. I mean, that's -- that's the kind of news no family ever wants to get, ever. 159

John Kirby

Leans Positive
00:26:14-00:26:35 (21 sec)
And we would certainly defer to local law enforcement and investigative bodies to do th- -- do the spade work that needs to be done to figure out exactly what happened to -- to Ruby and to hold the perpetrators accountable for that. So, why don't we let the judicial process play out here before we start making grandiose bumper-sticker comments about what this says about the border. 160

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:26:35-00:27:00 (24 sec)
And, Peter, to folks that are concerned about border security, the President would be the first one to stand up here and say he agrees: The border does need some security capabilities, that we do need more Border Patrol agents. And all that has to happen is for the Speaker to do his job, put that supplemental on the floor. Let's get a vote. Let's get those 13,000 additional Border Patrol agents down there to do their jobs. 161

Question

Negative
00:27:00-00:27:07 (7 sec)
But everybody in this room knows that the bill that you guys keep talking about as a solution is dead at the moment and -- 162

John Kirby

Very Negative
00:27:07-00:27:10 (2 sec)
Says you. It doesn't need to be dead, does it? 163

Question

Very Negative
00:27:10-00:27:11 (1 sec)
The bill is dead. 164

John Kirby

Unknown
00:27:11-00:27:12 (1 sec)
Says you. 165

Question

Unknown
00:27:12-00:27:13 (1 sec)
When's the vote? 166

John Kirby

Unknown
00:27:13-00:27:15 (2 sec)
You -- you ask Speaker Johnson that. 167

Question

Unknown
00:27:15-00:27:15 ( sec)
The bill is -- 168

John Kirby

Very Negative
00:27:15-00:27:18 (2 sec)
It doesn't need to be dead. 169

Question

Negative
00:27:18-00:27:23 (5 sec)
There are -- there are real problems at the border while that bill just languishes. Right? The -- the Chief of the Border Patrol is saying -- 170

John Kirby

Unknown
00:27:23-00:27:23 ( sec)
Exactly. 171

Question

Slightly Negative
00:27:23-00:27:33 (10 sec)
-- of 140,000 gotaways, if we don't know who is coming into our country and we don't know what their intent is, that is a threat. Does President Biden agree? 172

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:27:33-00:27:48 (15 sec)
The President absolutely believes that, along that border, we do have significant national security concerns that have to be met. But you said something really good in your question that I loved: that while this -- while these concerns are going on, the bill languishes. 173

John Kirby

Unknown
00:27:48-00:27:55 (7 sec)
So, what's needed? It's not -- it's not anything more from the President. What's needed is for Speaker Johnson to do his job and get that thing on the floor. 174

Question

Unknown
00:27:55-00:27:55 (1 sec)
The President -- 175

John Kirby

Unknown
00:27:55-00:27:56 (1 sec)
Let's get it voted on. 176

Question

Unknown
00:27:56-00:27:57 (1 sec)
-- as -- as the person -- 177

John Kirby

Positive
00:27:57-00:28:05 (8 sec)
They had a chance and decided not to act because certain people in the House Republican world wanted a problem rather than a solution. 178

Question

Very Negative
00:28:05-00:28:17 (11 sec)
As the person in charge of presenting -- preventing a terrorist attack in the homeland, does President Biden think that some of these border crossers could be in the United States right now plotting a terrorist attack against Americans? 179

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:28:17-00:28:30 (13 sec)
The President is confident that throughout the interagency -- DHS, the intelligence community -- that we're doing everything we can to be as vigilant as we can to ensure the safety and security of the American people here at home. 180

Karine Jean-Pierre

Slightly Positive
00:28:30-00:28:33 (3 sec)
Okay. Go ahead, Akayla. 181

Question

Unknown
00:28:33-00:28:38 (5 sec)
John, the call with President Xi. Did the two leaders speak about Section 301 tariffs? And any specific -- 182

John Kirby

Unknown
00:28:38-00:28:39 (1 sec)
It did not come up. 183

Question

Somewhat Positive
00:28:39-00:28:47 (8 sec)
It did not come up. But if you could just speak more about the economic nature of the conversation. Did they speak about competition in specific industries, like semiconductors? 184

John Kirby

Positive
00:28:47-00:29:08 (21 sec)
Yes, they did talk about economic competition between our two countries. And as I said in my opening statement, the President made clear that we have significant differences of opinion and concerns over some unfair market practices that the PRC uses that puts American workers and families at a disadvantage. He was very clear about that. 185

Question

Very Positive
00:29:08-00:29:17 (10 sec)
And just to follow up on Nancy's question. Are we clear to understand that the President did not warn President Xi about election interference? That was -- it felt like that was what you were implying. 186

John Kirby

Unknown
00:29:17-00:29:18 ( sec)
It -- it -- 187

Question

Slightly Negative
00:29:18-00:29:20 (2 sec)
Or is it there was no new message? 188

John Kirby

Slightly Negative
00:29:20-00:29:22 (2 sec)
It -- there was no new message today delivered on that. 189

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:29:22-00:29:22 ( sec)
Go ahead. 190

Question

Somewhat Positive
00:29:22-00:29:24 (2 sec)
Thank you. 191

Karine Jean-Pierre

Very Negative
00:29:24-00:29:25 (2 sec)
No -- no, go ahead. 192

Question

Very Negative
00:29:25-00:29:33 (8 sec)
Thank you, Karine. So, you said earlier that two hundred and -- more than 280 aid workers died since the start of the war. Could you tell what the timeframe is for that? 193

John Kirby

Very Negative
00:29:33-00:29:35 (2 sec)
Since the start of the war in -- in October. 194

Question

Slightly Positive
00:29:35-00:29:37 (2 sec)
So, since October 7th -- 7th? Okay. 195

John Kirby

Unknown
00:29:37-00:29:38 (1 sec)
I don't have a tick tock for you on -- 196

Question

Unknown
00:29:38-00:29:44 (6 sec)
Right. But roughly around then. So, more than 200? 197

John Kirby

Unknown
00:29:44-00:29:46 (2 sec)
That's our -- that's our -- that's our estimate here -- 198

Question

Slightly Positive
00:29:46-00:29:47 (1 sec)
Okay. 199

John Kirby

Unknown
00:29:47-00:29:48 (1 sec)
-- over the course of these many months. 200

Question

Leans Positive
00:29:48-00:29:55 (7 sec)
So, did the President -- has the President reached out to any other head of, you know, a humanitarian organization before today -- 201

John Kirby

Unknown
00:29:55-00:29:55 ( sec)
I -- 202

Question

Negative
00:29:55-00:29:57 (1 sec)
-- after an IDF attack? 203

John Kirby

Unknown
00:29:57-00:29:58 (1 sec)
I'll take the question. I don't know. 204

Karine Jean-Pierre

Unknown
00:29:58-00:30:02 (4 sec)
All right. We've got to -- we've got to wrap it up. Go ahead, Andrew. 205

Question

Very Negative
00:30:02-00:30:31 (29 sec)
Thank you. John, you described -- you described the -- the strike as a possible mistake by Israel. According to Haaretz, the Israeli newspaper, it wasn't one strike but three: the first one; then an interval during which aid workers got of their vehicles, removed the wounded, tried to move to another vehicle, which was struck; and then a third strike what -- as they tried to move and escape in a third vehicle, at which point all of them were dead. 206

Question

Very Negative
00:30:31-00:30:54 (23 sec)
How would the second and third strikes of these marked vehicles be a mistake? And why would the U.S. not more forcefully set conditions on the use of U.S.-made weaponry when it is being used to target aid workers? 207

Question

Very Negative
00:30:54-00:31:02 (8 sec)
If the first one was a mistake, the second two were targeted with the intent of killing everyone in that convoy. So, how do you respond to that? 208

John Kirby

Slightly Positive
00:31:02-00:31:11 (9 sec)
All right. Well, first of all, there's an investigation going on. So, why don't we let it get done and why don't we see what they find, in terms of the decision-making process that led to this terrible outcome? 209

John Kirby

Very Negative
00:31:11-00:31:18 (6 sec)
The Prime Minster and the IDF have noted that it was their error. If you don't like the word "mistake," their "error." 210

John Kirby

Unknown
00:31:18-00:31:23 (6 sec)
They're investigating it. Let them do that work and let them see what they come up with, and then we'll go from there. 211

Karine Jean-Pierre

Slightly Positive
00:31:23-00:31:24 ( sec)
Okay. [Inaudible] 212

Question

Somewhat Positive
00:31:24-00:31:25 (1 sec)
Thank you, Karine. 213

Question

Very Negative
00:31:25-00:31:37 (12 sec)
Sorry, one -- one more, John. Two years ago, the IDF killed an Al Jazeera journalist. They said that that was a -- a mistake, that she was wearing a marked press vest. She was shot anyway. [Inaudible] 214

John Kirby

Negative
00:31:37-00:31:42 (5 sec)
They investigated it. And they released the findings of their investigation, which found that they were at fault. 215

John Kirby

Unknown
00:31:42-00:31:43 (1 sec)
Go on. 216

Question

Leans Negative
00:31:43-00:32:04 (21 sec)
They did. But my -- my question, sir, is: In that case, the Is- -- the Israelis did not initiate any criminal proceeding; in this case, if it's found that the marked convoy was deliberately targeted, if not with the first shot but the second two shots, would the U.S. support any criminal penalties? 217

John Kirby

Somewhat Positive
00:32:04-00:32:15 (12 sec)
As I said, we would expect that should there be a need for accountability, that accounta- -- that accountability be properly put in place for whoever may be responsible for this. But again, that's going to -- a lot of that is going to depend on the investigation. 218

Karine Jean-Pierre

Neutral
00:32:15-00:32:17 (1 sec)
Just want to [inaudible]. Go ahead. 219

Question

Slightly Positive
00:32:17-00:32:25 (9 sec)
Thank you. Two questions on China. Admiral, this is an election year. Does the President feel political pressure to act tough on China? 220

John Kirby

Very Positive
00:32:25-00:32:48 (23 sec)
The President, as Commander-in-Chief, feels obligated and responsible for protecting the national security interests of the United States. And much of his conversation with President Xi this morning -- which was candid and constructive, very professional and businesslike -- was arranged around those priorities that President Biden holds so seriously. 221

Question

Unknown
00:32:48-00:32:52 (3 sec)
Is TikTok part of the conversation part today? 222

John Kirby

Positive