White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and NSC's John Kirby hold a briefing — 2/12/24

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and NSC's John Kirby hold a briefing — 2/12/24

US-Jordan Meeting

  • President Biden is hosting King Abdullah of Jordan at the White House to discuss the ongoing situation in Gaza and strengthen bilateral relations.
  • The meeting will focus on finding an enduring end to the conflict, increasing humanitarian assistance to Gaza, and achieving a durable peace with a viable two-state solution.

Hostage Situation

  • Two Israeli hostages held captive in Rafa for 128 days have been freed by Israeli Defense Forces, and President Biden is committed to securing the release of all hostages.
  • Negotiations for a ceasefire and hostage release are ongoing, but details cannot be disclosed at this time.
  • The US does not have specific information about the location and condition of all remaining hostages, including Americans, and is in constant communication with Israeli counterparts and families of hostages.
  • The US believes that a hostage deal is the best way to secure the safe release of a greater number of hostages.

Infrastructure Development in Africa

US-Israel Relations

  • President Biden has consistently expressed concerns about civilian casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure in Gaza and has urged the Israeli Defense Forces to act with precision and deliberateness.
  • The US does not believe it is advisable for Israel to enter Rafa without a proper plan to ensure the safety of over a million Palestinian refugees.
  • President Biden has expressed concerns to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu about the potential civilian casualties in a ground invasion of Rafah and emphasized the need for a plan to protect civilians.
  • The White House does not support an Israeli military operation in Rafah without a credible and feasible plan to move and protect civilians.
  • The US continues to support Israel's right to defend itself against Hamas but stresses the importance of protecting innocent Palestinian civilians during military operations.
  • The US does not want to see any forced relocation of people out of Gaza and is working with Egypt to facilitate the movement of non-Palestinian individuals who wish to leave.

US Policy on Gaza

  • The US has not changed its position on supporting an extended humanitarian pause in Gaza to allow for the return of hostages, the provision of security assistance, and a reduction in violence.
  • The US policy towards Israel remains focused on ensuring Israel's ability to defend itself, facilitating the flow of humanitarian assistance to Gaza, and securing the release of hostages.

TikTok Concerns

  • The US has concerns about the preservation of data and potential misuse of private information by foreign actors on TikTok, which is why it is banned on US government devices.
  • The Biden administration still has security concerns about TikTok, despite the president's campaign using the platform.
  • The White House is cautious about commenting on TikTok specifically due to an ongoing CFIUS review.
  • The administration supports the RESTRICT Act, a bipartisan bill that aims to protect American freedom of speech while addressing national security concerns related to TikTok.

Afghanistan and Taliban

  • The UN is holding its second International Conference on Afghanistan in Doha next week, but the US government has no plans to normalize relations with the Taliban.

President Biden's Health

  • The president's physical will take place at some point, and there will be a comprehensive report as in the past two years.
  • The White House does not think it is necessary for Biden to take a cognitive test as part of his physical.
  • The White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, believes that Biden is sharp and on top of things based on her personal experience working with him.

President Biden's Accomplishments

  • The Biden administration views progress in the Indo-Pacific region positively, highlighting achievements such as initiating the AUKUS partnership, elevating the Quad, and strengthening bilateral relationships with countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, and Japan.
  • The White House strategy to change the perception of Biden's age is to focus on his accomplishments, such as turning the economy back on its feet, creating jobs, and lowering costs for Medicare.

Funding for Ukraine, Israel, and the Pacific

  • The President is in constant communication with Congressional leadership to secure funding for Ukraine, Israel, and the Pacific.

President Biden's Visit to East Palestine, Ohio

  • President Biden will visit East Palestine, Ohio on Friday to meet with the community and discuss the ongoing response to the train derailment.

Child and Biz Tax Bill

  • The White House is in support of the bipartisan child and biz tax bill in the Senate and is having conversations with Congressional leadership and staff about it.

President Biden's Economic Policies

  • President Biden is blaming large corporations for inflation and calling on them to pass their savings onto hardworking Americans.
  • President Biden believes that Congress should do their job and fund important programs like WIC and SNAP to avoid a government shutdown.

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