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On other pages, they said he memorialized in writing some of his experiences or thoughts as vice president at the time. The number of notebooks Biden kept is large, according to the person familiar with the investigation, but they did not know the precise number. Trump and Biden’s possession of classified documents is the subject of separate special counsel investigations. Attorney General Merrick Garland has so far not named a special counsel to investigate Pence’s handling of classified documents. On Friday, Pence apologized for having classified documents in his possession and said he takes full responsibility for it.
WASHINGTON — A Democratic push to discredit the congressional Republicans who are launching a slew of investigations into President Joe Biden may be fracturing because of an unexpected obstacle: fellow Democrats. And former Vice President Mike Pence revealed this week that he, too, had discovered classified documents in his Indiana home. On Capitol Hill, House Republicans have opened an oversight inquiry into Biden’s handling of the records. (Both the White House and the Secret Service said they don’t keep such records for his personal residence.) The White House counsel’s office now has a communications arm to quickly respond to Republican allegations of presidential wrongdoing.
The U.S. government’s system for labeling and tracking classified documents appears to be broken, with potentially serious consequences for the country’s national security, lawmakers, former officials and scholars said Tuesday. Democratic and Republican lawmakers said there was a “systemic failure” if both the Obama and Trump administrations could not keep track of classified documents after their tenures ended. I don’t know how anybody ends up with classified documents. “We clearly don’t have an effective management system to oversee where classified documents go and how they’re retrieved,” said Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah. Goitein and others said the recent discoveries of classified documents present a political opportunity for the White House, and possibly Congress, to at last tackle the problem.
By early 2019, Trump had cycled through seven of 15 Cabinet secretaries and was on his third chief of staff. A White House official said Mayorkas would fight any such attempt and has no wish to step down. The durability of Biden’s Cabinet is something of a surprise. Going back decades, presidents have steadily concentrated power in the White House, at the Cabinet’s expense, historians say. Some Cabinet secretaries have felt marginalized as presidents stocked the West Wing with trusted advisers and usurped the prerogatives of Cabinet members who had thought they were brought in to run things.
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will name Jeff Zients to serve as his next chief of staff, replacing Ron Klain who is expected to leave in the coming weeks, an administration official and a person familiar with the matter told NBC News. Zients, who previously led the Biden administration’s Covid-19 response, left the administration briefly last April, but returned in the fall just before the midterm elections. News of Zients' selection was first reported by The Washington Post. Klain, who has served in the top role for more than two years, is expected to depart the Biden administration after the president's State of the Union address early next month, according to two sources familiar with the decision. Check back later for updates.
A White House official, Ian Sams, spoke to reporters Tuesday about documents dating back to Biden’s vice presidency — the first time the White House has solicited questions about the classified materials. Sams, a senior adviser to the White House Counsel’s office, said in the press briefing that because of an ongoing Justice Department investigation, the White House is limited in what it can responsibly disclose. At issue is whether the White House kept quiet about documents that had been stored improperly in hopes of sparing Biden the political fallout from such a disclosure. Biden’s personal attorneys found more classified documents while searching his home in Wilmington on Dec. 20. Yet the White House didn't acknowledge the found documents until a CBS News report earlier this month.
“He’s got to say, ‘I messed up, I apologize,’” said Lanny Davis, who handled various investigations as a lawyer in the Clinton White House. The White House didn’t publicly confirm that documents had been found until Monday, when CBS News reported that a review was underway. A statement from a White House lawyer, Richard Sauber, mentioned only classified material found at the center. We respect that process.”Jennifer Palmieri, who served as communications director in the Obama White House, suggested that any White House press secretary in this position would be in a tough spot in terms of what can be disclosed in the briefing room. “The White House should consider appointing a separate spokesperson to handle all questions related to this matter,” said Karen Finney, a Democratic strategist who also served in the Clinton White House.
MEXICO CITY — When North American leaders gathered in 2021 — at the first summit for the group in five years — the mood was upbeat. Before he arrived in Mexico City on Sunday night, Biden stopped in El Paso, Texas, amid criticism from congressional Republicans that the southwest border has gotten more porous on his watch. Citing health concerns, López Obrador has called for banning imports of genetically modified corn. Ahead of the summit, the leaders sought to ease some of the strains and perhaps create a more convivial atmosphere. Rather than fly into the more conveniently located Mexico City hub airport, Air Force One landed Sunday at a new airport that was a pet project of López Obrador’s.
COVINGTON, Ky. — A key part of the White House plan to combat the new House GOP majority was on vivid display Wednesday: President Joe Biden talked about bridges and bipartisanship, while Republicans bickered among themselves. They plan to show him addressing real-world problems that are Americans' top concern while painting congressional Republicans as being focused on raw politics. They are refining plans to pressure House Republicans in swing districts to stop any impeachment votes in committee — before the issue reaches the House floor. The general view inside the White House is that there is little of substance to worry about. There, Barack Obama challenged McConnell and congressional Republicans to “help us rebuild this bridge!” and put unemployed construction workers to work.
WASHINGTON — As 2022 draws to a close, President Joe Biden plans to give an upbeat national address Thursday afternoon with a unifying message. Biden would be traveling the country touting reduced insulin prices and new road projects, while House Republicans hold hearings into obscure conspiracy theories. The first is Biden runs and loses, perhaps to a younger Republican opponent who eclipses Trump as the new GOP favorite. His top aides have been meeting privately with left-leaning interest groups urging them to go out and showcase Biden’s record. “President Biden became the first president since FDR in 1934 to not lose a single incumbent United States Senate seat” in the midterms, Donilon wrote.
Joe Biden beat Donald Trump once, and Democrats are crafting a strategy to try to beat him again in 2024 — even if his name isn’t on the ballot. But Democrats interviewed about the emerging 2024 strategy said they plan to make sure this particular comment isn’t soon forgotten. (Trump issued another statement on his Truth Social platform insisting he hadn’t said he wanted to “terminate” the Constitution.) A Trump ally, former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, said he doesn’t believe Trump will suffer a backlash over his comment about the Constitution. Trump’s comment “is very serious,” said longtime Biden confidant Ted Kaufman, a former U.S. senator from Delaware.
Biden had been hopeful that Russian President Vladimir Putin would be more apt to free Griner once America’s midterm elections were done, a calculation that proved correct. Still detained in Russia is Paul Whelan, a businessman whom the White House has also been working to free without success. In a 2012 interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” when he was vice president, Biden came out in favor of same-sex marriage, and he is expected to sign the measure into law. White House officials acknowledged the headwinds and worried that the midterm elections would be a repudiation of Biden’s record. “When I look at what the Biden White House has done, I think experience and patience really paid off,” said Jennifer Palmieri, who served as White House communications director during the Obama administration.
“Antisemitism is dangerous,” said Emhoff, the nation’s first Jewish spouse of a president or vice president. Second gentleman Douglas Emhoff during a roundtable about the rise of antisemitism in Washington on Wednesday. President Joe Biden has proposed raising that sum to $360 million in the coming year for the 2023 fiscal year. Conference speakers drew a link between antisemitism and another scourge that the Biden administration wants to confront: threats to democracy. “Antisemitism is the death knell of democracy,” said Deborah Lipstadt, a Holocaust scholar and the Biden administration’s special envoy to combat and monitor antisemitism.
WASHINGTON — If it’s Monday ... It’s the last day of campaigning before tomorrow’s Georgia Senate runoff. ... NBC’s Vaughn Hillyard covers the closing messages by Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker. And just looking at the campaigns, which get the biggest bang per advertising buck, it’s Warnock at $25.2 million, versus Walker at $10.1 million. But now it’s $11.8 million — behind Warnock’s $25 million and the $20.3 million from Georgia Honor, a Democratic Super PAC. Runoff watch: Walker accuser speaks to NBC NewsDays after she first revealed an allegation of domestic abuse against Georgia Republican Senate hopeful Herschel Walker, a former girlfriend of his sat down with NBC News to detail those allegations.
Now Biden faces a backlash from a core of rail workers and allied groups, as some of them see a betrayal in the bill he pushed to avert a rail strike. The standoff between rail workers and the profitable companies that employ them posed an awkward dilemma for Biden, forcing him to find an elusive middle ground between dueling campaign pledges. A rail strike threatened to unravel the job gains that no doubt will be central to any Biden re-election campaign. He said he is not giving up on paid sick leave for rail workers and other Americans who don’t receive such benefits. …”Still, the president could have used more leverage to reach a deal that included paid sick leave, union officials and allies contend.
White House executive chef Cris Comerford gave a media preview Wednesday of the state dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron. “You need France.”Then-President Trump hosted French President Macron at a state dinner in 2018. The state dinner may be the Biden administration’s way of apologizing for an unforced error of such magnitude, Fried said. “We owed the French one after that.”A dish is previewed for the Macron state dinner. The last state dinner at the White House was in 2019.
“We’re building a better America,” Biden said at a plant that makes components for electric vehicles. Two years ago, anyone betting against Biden’s political prospects would have lost. Biden has said more than 700,000 manufacturing jobs have been added since he took office. Democrats would like to flip the county in 2024, when Michigan will, as ever, loom as a crucial battleground state. “We’re hoping that President Biden’s visit might entice people to come back to the fold and recognize what his administration is doing for us economically.”
They’re offering more policy briefings to longtime supporters, Zoom calls with top administration officials and White House tours, too. "The $500,000 people like me, we’re not going to be players in 2024," said Dick Harpootlian, a longtime Democratic donor and South Carolina state senator. For the White House, the shift is an acceleration of a courtship campaign that began more modestly before the midterm elections. Amid concerns about the omicron variant last year, the White House was forced to abandon plans for a more full set of holiday parties. Some of those same people were invited to the White House next month for an in-person policy briefing.
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said Thursday he would make a renewed effort to enact a ban on assault-style rifles following a wave of mass shootings that have again put a spotlight on the nation's gun control laws. "The idea that we still allow semi-automatic weapons to be purchased is sick," he said while greeting firefighters in Nantucket, where he and his family are spending the Thanksgiving holiday. The Democratic-controlled House passed a ban in July, in a vote largely along party lines. Patrons prevented more deaths by confronting and disarming the suspect, identified by officials as Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22. The weapon used was in the style of a Colt AR-15, according to Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez.
WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared Tuesday at his final White House press briefing, as he prepares to leave government next month following a half-century on the front lines of the world's gravest public health crises. “The idea that this may be very likely the last time I’m in that press briefing room is kind of sad. Things can’t go on forever," Fauci said in an interview earlier in the day with NBC News. Before he announced his plans to leave government, Fauci said he would not serve under another Trump administration. "What I would like to do is encourage and perhaps inspire younger people to get involved in science, medicine and public health," Fauci said.
Attending a summit meeting in Bali when the missile hit Poland, Biden quickly arranged the meeting with the leaders of France, Germany, Canada and other allies. Most of the leaders in attendance have agreed to sign on, a Biden administration official said. “We, of course, are ready to stand with our NATO allies and partners,” Vedant Patel, a State Department spokesman, told reporters. NATO, and the mutual defense obligation that underlies it, was nearly a casualty of the Trump administration. They’re still looking for him.” Left unsaid was that as president, Trump skipped summit meetings with Asian leaders in 2018, sending Vice President Mike Pence in his place.
At a news conference following a three-hour meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Biden did not specify how the U.S. might respond to further nuclear tests by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. “I don’t think there’s any imminent attempt on the part of China to invade Taiwan,” Biden said. Biden walked toward Xi with his right hand outstretched and as they shook, he clasped Xi’s hand with his left. “Good to see you,” said Biden, who met many times with Xi when both were vice presidents of their respective countries. In their most recent phone call in July, both Biden and Xi agreed that they would instruct their aides to explore the possibility of an in-person meeting.
Even so, the White House is downplaying any hope of a major breakthrough when Biden sits down with Xi in person. “I don’t think personal diplomacy will help that much,” said Victor Cha, a former director for Asian affairs in George W. Bush’s White House. The Biden administration sees Xi as the leader of a bullying nation with visions of global dominance. “We recognize that with each launch, [the North Koreans] learn something,” the senior Biden administration official said. But like Biden, Xi will also arrive at the meeting having fortified his position at home.
On Sunday, Biden will meet jointly with two valued allies, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol. They are expected to discuss the nuclear threat from North Korea, whose repeated missile tests have sent residents in both countries scurrying to bomb shelters for safety. The centerpiece of Biden’s trip is a sit-down Monday in Bali with Chinese President Xi Jinping, their first face-to-face meeting since Biden took office. Sullivan added, "And if North Korea keeps going down this road, it will simply mean further enhanced American military and security presence in the region. Scott Kennedy, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that between Russia and North Korea, China “has two friends acting like absolute rogues," adding that Beijing is "not managing either well."
For the world leaders meeting with Biden over the next week, there’s no assurance that he'll be the president they’ll be dealing with for the next six years. The U.S. is unnerved by Chinese military exercises that threaten Taiwan and raise the specter of a future invasion. “Tuesday was a good day for America, a good day for democracy,” Biden said Thursday at a Democratic National Committee event. Another reason that Biden might find the trip more gratifying is that he averted the midterm wipeout that sitting presidents normally endure. Biden’s midterm test went much better.
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