WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden blamed the Trump administration for ongoing problems on the U.S.-Mexico border, citing its failure to cooperate and share important data in the course of the presidential transition interval.
In an unique interview airing Friday with TODAY present co-anchor Craig Melvin, Biden stated his administration inherited “one god-awful mess at the border” from former President Donald Trump. He stated it’s the results of “the failure to have a real transition — cooperation from the last administration, like every other administration has done.”
After the November election, Biden stated that he dispatched his transition crew to meet with the officers main the key departments throughout the federal government.
“The two departments that didn’t give us access to virtually anything were the immigration and the Defense Department,” stated Biden, who added that his crew didn’t know till he was sworn into workplace that Trump had fired many individuals from these departments they usually have been “understaffed considerably.”
Biden declined to name the border scenario a crisis. He additionally acknowledged that his administration has struggled to reunite the children and households who had been separated beneath Trump insurance policies.
“We don’t know yet where those kids are,” he stated. “We’re trying like hell to figure out what happened. What happened to that child when he got separated? Where’d they go? Where are they?”
During the wide-ranging interview, performed Thursday on the White House, Biden was additionally requested about feedback on race made by Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., within the official Republican response to his first address to Congress on Wednesday. Scott, the lone Black Republican senator, stated he’d skilled “the pain of discrimination,” however urged viewers to “Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country.”
Biden was requested if he disagreed.
“No, I don’t think the American people are racist. But I think after 400 years, African Americans have been left in a position where they’re so far behind the eight ball in terms of education, health, in terms of opportunity,” Biden stated. “I don’t think America’s racist, but I think the overhang from all of the Jim Crow and before that slavery have had a cost and we have to deal with it.”
Melvin additionally requested Biden if he was briefed about the search warrants executed at Rudy Giuliani’s apartment and office and discovered about it when the information broke.
“I give you my word, I was not,” Biden stated.
“I made a pledge,” Biden continued. “I would not interfere in any way — order or try to stop any investigation the Justice Department had underway. I learned about that last night when the rest of the world learned about it.”
Asked if he’s been briefed about every other investigation, Biden stated, “No, and I’m not asking to be briefed — that’s the Justice Department’s independent judgment.”
Biden stated that the Trump administration “politicized the Justice Department so badly. so many of them quit, so many left.”
“That’s not the role of the president to say who should be prosecuted, when they should be prosecuted, who should not be prosecuted. That’s not the role of the president. The Justice Department is the people’s lawyer, not the president’s lawyer.”
Biden’s remarks got here a day after FBI brokers executed search warrants at Giuliani‘s Manhattan condo and his workplace to seize digital gadgets. The searches signaled that prosecutors are persevering with their investigation into Giuliani, the previous New York City mayor who went on to develop into Trump’s private lawyer.
Biden and first woman Jill Biden, who joined the dialog towards the tip, have been additionally requested about considered one of their German Shepherds, Major, who has had a few incidents on the White House.
“He is such a sweet, lovable dog. He really is,” stated the primary woman.
The first woman additionally shared that they have been adopting a feminine cat, and stated that a part of Major’s coaching with the Secret Service concerned bringing him right into a shelter with cats.