President Joe Biden tried to blame former President Donald Trump for his administration’s stumbles at the border and his inability to manage the ongoing migrant surge at the southern border. He also tried to blame the Trump administration for struggling to reunite migrant children with their families.
Biden said he bungled it because The Trump administration didn’t cooperate during the transition. Biden also claimed Trump failed to prepare for the “seasonal” spike in illegal border crossings that happen in the spring.
“The two departments that didn’t give us access to virtually anything were the immigration and the Defense Department,” Biden told NBC. According to Biden, the delay meant his team did not know how understaffed the federal agencies were but he called them “understaffed considerably.”
“They didn’t have beds,” he said. “They didn’t plan for the overflow.” Biden denied the GOP’s allegations that he has not reunited any migrant children with their families.
“I don’t think that’s true. That could be,” he said. “The thing is, we don’t know yet where those kids are. We’re trying like hell to figure out what happened. It’s almost like being a sleuth.”
During the wide-ranging interview, conducted Thursday at the White House, Biden was also asked about comments on race made by Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., in the official Republican response to his first address to Congress on Wednesday.
Scott, the lone Black Republican senator, said he’d experienced “the pain of discrimination,” but urged viewers to “Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country.”
Biden was asked 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 said.
“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 also asked Biden if he was briefed about the search warrants executed at Rudy Giuliani’s apartment and office and found out about it when the news broke.
“I give you my word, I was not,” Biden said.
“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 any other investigation, Biden said, “No, and I’m not asking to be briefed — that’s the Justice Department’s independent judgment.”
Biden said 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.”
“She is waiting in the wings,” said first lady Jill Biden about a cat joining the White House. pic.twitter.com/6OXvM08oNP— TODAY (@TODAYshow) April 30, 2021