At the first news conference of the White House after Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, the spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Mr. Biden had asked her to bring truth and transparency back to the press room to ensure that his term in office restored trust and emphasized the right of the American people to share accurate information. She also noted that Biden allowed the U.S. Congress to decide how to proceed with the impeachment trial of former U.S. President Donald Trump.
Psaki, a former CNN contributor, previously served as a State Department spokeswoman during the administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama and reiterated her strong respect for a free and independent press. Hours after Biden took office, Psaki appeared on the podium at the White House in an effort to draw a sharp contrast with the Trump administration. The Trump administration and journalists have engaged in verbal, even uninformed, battles. “There will be times when we disagree, and in some cases we may disagree with large parts of the briefings, but we are very clear that we share the common goal of sharing accurate information with the American people,” she told reporters at a news conference.
The New York Times wrote that Psaki’s briefings would seem particularly normal to reporters familiar with press conferences during the Trump administration. “We choose to reserve the right to respond to any cyber attacks,” she continued. “The Biden administration has just hit the ground running, and they’re getting ready to use their new computers, so I don’t have anything for you to read or read right now. Biden has asked me to bring truth and transparency back to the press room once again, and I hope that happens.”
Psaki also outlined the executive actions and orders Biden took on his first day, including the reversal of several policies from the Trump administration and the reinstatement of some programs and actions from the Obama administration. Psaki told reporters that Biden will hold his first phone call with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday (January 22) and that the two will discuss the important relationship between the United States and Canada, as well as Biden’s decision to use a presidential charter to revoke Keystone XL Pipeline.
The US House of Representatives made history last week when it announced two impeachment proceedings against Mr Trump, and it is unclear when the Senate will begin an impeachment trial. But Psaki said Biden wants the Senate to do more than one thing at a time. “We believe that the Senate, just like the American people, is capable of multitasking and that they can continue to do the business of the American people while still fulfilling their constitutional responsibilities,” she said. “He is leaving it to Congress to determine the mechanism for conducting impeachment trials. “When I spoke with Joe Biden today, his focus was not on politics, it was on jobs and solving the problems of the American people.”
Judd Deere, a spokeswoman for Mr. Trump, confirmed to Fox News that Mr. Trump had left a letter to his successor in the Oval Office, as is customary. Biden had previously told reporters that Trump’s letter was a very generous act, but he said he would not make its contents public because it was a private communication, and later reiterated that it was generous.
On U.S. international policy, Psaki said Biden was not yet scheduled to hold a conference call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, indicating that early calls would be with partners and Allies. The Biden administration also re-signed the nuclear Iran deal to extend and strengthen nuclear restrictions on Iran, which is expected to be a focus of discussion in the early days of the Biden administration.
Psaki added: “Biden is negotiating the Covid-19 aid program, and there will be more experts advising on restarting schools. The Biden administration intends to resume regular health briefings, and for Mr. Biden, cabinet formation is his top priority. With the United States in the midst of an emergency crisis, hope and trust that the Republican Party will support an outbreak assistance plan. Obviously, we’re inclined to move forward with a bill that has cross-party support, and we’ll be announcing more details soon on how the Defense Production Act deals with the distribution of vaccines.”
Since taking office, Biden has signed 15 executive orders to address the Novel Coronavirus pandemic, climate change and racial inequality, and to undo some policies implemented by President Trump. These include restarting the process of returning the United States to the Paris climate agreement and revoking the permit for the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada. Before taking office, Biden made clear his early focus would be on tackling the epidemic and reviving the domestic economy. Biden also ordered masks to be worn in all federal buildings and on all federal lands, as well as social distance, and ended the national emergency declaration that was the basis for embezzling federal funds to build a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border.