China, Classified Docs & 2024 Election: What Did Biden Reveal in His Nightly Exclusive?
© AP Photo / Jon ElswickThe letter from House Oversight Committee chairman Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., to Debra Steidel Wall, archivist of the United States, requesting, among other things, all documents and communications between the National Archives and Records Administration related to classified documents at the Penn Biden Center.
© AP Photo / Jon Elswick
The nightly interview came a day after the American president gave his second State of the Union address before a divided Congress for the first time. The address has been hailed by observers as the commander-in-chief's foundation for his 2024 presidential election bid.
US President Joe Biden sat down for an exclusive interview with PBS' Newshour on Wednesday, touching on a variety of topics including US-China ties in the aftermath of the downed Chinese balloon and his potential 2024 election bid, among other matters.
US-China Ties Doing 'A-Okay'
Biden remarked during the interview with special correspondent Judy Woodruff that relations between the United States and China have not taken a big hit following the US downing of an alleged Chinese surveillance balloon that flew across the United States last week.
"No, no," Biden said when asked whether relations with China had been irreparably damaged after the balloon decision, or after reports indicated Chinese officials felt as though the US was smearing Beijing.
The president underscored that he's made clear to Chinese President Xi Jinping that the United States will compete fully with China but will not seek a conflict. Biden mentioned he did not talk to Xi during the incident.
Biden momentarily joked that he hadn't exchanged words with Chinese officials within the 30 minutes preceding the interview.
Talk on ties with China also saw the president indicate that he had warned Xi that investments in China may be at risk if Beijing does not maintain equal relations. "You've told me all along the reason why you need a relationship with the United States and Europe is so they invest in China. I said, 'who's gonna invest in China if you can engage with the same kind of deal,'" Biden said.
No Recession Will Come to Americans in 2023 or 2024
With concerns at an all-time high over the state of the US economy, the commander-in-chief noted that he does not believe the United States will experience a recession either this year or next, despite half of Americans believing they are financially worse off compared to last year.
"No, or next year," Biden said on Wednesday, when asked if he thinks there will be a recession this year.
Earlier Wednesday, a Gallup poll revealed that 50% of Americans believe they are worse off financially now than they were last year - the highest figure since the Great Recession era of 2008 and 2009.
The statement also comes following a warning by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that the United States could face a recession if the debt ceiling is not raised and the US defaults on its financial obligations.
Classified Docs Mania
Turning to the revelation of classified documents being found at Biden's Delaware home and at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, DC, Biden acknowledged the sensitive documents dated backed to the 1970s, and that his team was effectively to blame for the mishandling the papers.
"The best of my knowledge, the kinds of things they picked up are things that from 1974, straight stray papers, there may be something else I don't know, but one of the things that happened is that what was not done well, is as they packed up my offices to move them, they didn't do the kind of job that should have been done to go thoroughly through every single piece of literature that's there," Biden said.
Biden noted he was advised not to speak to this issue because the investigation is ongoing, but emphasized he voluntarily let investigators search his home offices thoroughly. Biden said he would speak more on the matter once the investigation is over.
Last week, Biden's personal attorney announced the US Justice Department conducted a search of the president's residences in Rehoboth, Delaware, but found no sensitive materials.
The US House Oversight Committee is also looking into Biden's handling of classified documents as it relates to their investigation into potential influence peddling by the Biden family, particularly the presidents son, Hunter Biden.
On the 2024 Presidential Road Soon?
Touching on the looming 2024 presidential election, Biden said he plans on running for reelection despite his age, but that he has not yet made a firm decision.
"It’s my intention, I think, but I haven’t made that decision firmly yet," Biden said, when asked about whether he will run for president again in 2024.
Biden added he would be honest with the American people if he had a health problem he believed could prevent him from serving.
Biden’s 2020 campaign rival, former US President Donald Trump, announced his 2024 presidential bid late last year.