Remarks by President Biden Before Marine One Departure

Published: Sat Aug 27 2022

South Lawn

(August 26, 2022)

THE PRESIDENT: I haven't seen the report on Mar-a-Lago, so I'm not commenting. I haven't seen it, number one. But I do want to say we had a great economic report today.

Last month, minus-one inflation. Not up, not - down. Actually down. The economy is looking good. So far, we're hanging in, and I feel good about it. But we got a long way to go.

Q If only 75 percent of the people take advantage of the student loan program, do you consider it a success if only 75 percent of the people take advantage of it?

THE PRESIDENT: I'll consider it a success if only 10 percent take advantage of it. Look, people need help. And by the way, the end result of this is - as I've met with everyone from - from the former Secretary of Treasury to everyone else - this is not going to cause inflation, number one.

Number two, it would generate economic growth - the opposite - because you got people who are, in fact, now going to be freed up to be able to go borrow money to buy a home, to be able to start businesses, to do the things that need to be done.

And I found it absolutely fascinating that some of the folks who were talking about "this is big spending" are the same people that got $158,000 in PPP money, including the - what's her name? That woman who believes in the - anyway. A whole lot of Republicans got a lot of money - the very people criticizing it.

So, it - it's just not - I think it's a good thing, it frees a lot of people up, it's going to grow the economy. We still have a way to go, but I'm optimistic.

Q Mr. President, have you spoken to any of the family members of the 13 soldiers who died last year in Afghanistan?

THE PRESIDENT: Not today, but I have spoken in the past.

Q President Trump says that he declassified all these documents. Could he have just declassified them all?

THE PRESIDENT: "Well, I just want to know, I've declassified everything in the world. I'm President. I can do it –" Come on. Declassified everything?

I'm not going to comment. I mean, because I don't know the detail. I don't even want to know. I'll let the Justice Department take care of that.

Q Mr. President, in simple terms, is it ever appropriate for a President to take home with them classified and top secret documents?

THE PRESIDENT: Depending on the circumstance. For example, I have, in my home, a cabined-off space that is completely secure. I'm taking home with me today today's PDB. It's locked. I have a person with me - military with me. I read it, I lock it back up, and give it to the military.

Q Without a specialized area in which you can declassify documents, is it ever appropriate for a president to bring classified and top secret documents home with them?

THE PRESIDENT: It depends on the document, and it depends on how secure the room is. Thank you.

Q What did you mean by semi-fascism, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: (Laughs.) You know what I mean.

Q Mr. President, Angola just had a (inaudible) election two days ago and everything went good. What is the view of Mr. President? Because you recently announced $2 billion investment for Angola, which everybody is very excited. Your comment on that?

THE PRESIDENT: That answers the question, doesn't it? You think we'd give $2 billion if we weren't excited about what happened?

Thank you.

Q Mr. President, how is the First Lady feeling?

THE PRESIDENT: She's still recovering.


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