Remarks by President Biden Before Marine One Departure

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Remarks by President Biden Before Marine One Departure

5:16 P.M. EDT THE PRESIDENT:  I’m going up to a viewing of a woman who worked with me in a senior position from the time I ran for the count

5:16 P.M. EDT
 
THE PRESIDENT:  I’m going up to a viewing of a woman who worked with me in a senior position from the time I ran for the county council who passed away.  Her name was Norma Long.  That’s why I’m heading home.  I’m heading back — back tonight.  And so I just wanted to let you know what I’m doing. 
 
Q    Sir, how was your meeting with the Floyd family?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  The Floyd family meeting went incredibly well.  We spent a long time together.  I spent — I got a chance to spend a lot of time with Gianna and the family.  And we just talked about — you know, it’s the one-year anniversary, and those of you who’ve been through personal loss know that although every anniversary is — you’re happy people remember, it also brings everything back immediately like it happened that day.  It takes a lot of courage to go through it. 
 
And they’ve been wonderful.  And I’ve spoken with the negotiators.  I’m hopeful that sometime after Memorial Day, we’ll have an agreement on the — on the George Floyd legislation.  And so, I’m optimistic. 
 
And I think they spoke to you.  Maybe they didn’t speak to you; they spoke to some of you.  I think they were very pleased with the time we spent together.  It was mostly personal.  We spent a long time — I guess, almost a couple of hours.
 
Q    And how was the time with Gianna for you?  What did you (inaudible)?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  First thing she did when she ran in was throw her arms around me — gave me a big hug and wanted to sit in my lap.  And we spent — she also loved the idea that — she said, “I’m really hungry.”  And so she — she said, “Do you have any snacks?” 
 
Q    What did you give her?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  Well, we gave her — my wife would kill me. We gave her some ice cream.  She had some Cheetos.  And I think she had a chocolate milk.  I’m not sure what the third one was. 
 
But they were in and out.  I showed them all — and we spent time — I spent time showing them around not just the Oval, but around the White House.  And they were interested and — I gave them all — I gave them all little mementos, especially her.  I had a great picture of Gianna when I went down for the funeral — or for the eve of the funeral, and I gave her that.
 
Q    Why have you decided to meet with President Putin?  And why are you letting Germany and Russia to build — to continue building Nord Stream 2?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  Because it’s almost completely finished, number one.  The idea that anything that — and it’s not like I can allow Germany to do something they’re not. 
 
I have been opposed to Nord Stream 2 from the beginning, but it only has — it’s almost completed by the time I took office.  And to go ahead and impose sanctions now, I think, would be counterproductive now in terms of our European relations.  And they know how strongly I feel.  And I hope we can work on how they handle it from this point on.
 
Q    Have you considered canceling the summit because of what happened in Belarus?  Have you ever considered cancelling the summit with Mr. Putin because of what just happened —
 
THE PRESIDENT:  No, no, no.  I — Putin had indicated he wanted to meet with me well over a month ago.  I’ve spoken with him a number of times.  We’re going to be having a meeting in Switzerland not too long from now.
 
Q    What are you thinking about in terms of sanctions on Belarus?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  Well, that’s in play.  I don’t want to speculate until we get it done.
 
Q    Mr. President, (inaudible) end qualified immunity?  That’s one of the hang-ups in negotiations.
 
THE PRESIDENT:  The negotiations are taking place now.  In case you haven’t figured me out by now, I never negotiate in public like others do.  That’s why I’m relatively successful in getting things done.  And so I will tell you when that happens.
 
Thank you so much.
 
5:20 P.M. EDT