Remarks by US President Biden before Marine One departs
(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 want to say that we had a great economic report today.
Last month, minus one of inflation. Not up, not down. In fact down. The economy is doing well. So far we are hanging on and I feel good. But we have a long way to go.
Q If only 75% of people take advantage of the student loan program, do you consider it a success if only 75% of people take advantage of it?
THE PRESIDENT I consider it a success if only 10% take advantage of it. Listen, people need help. And by the way, the end result of all of this – as I’ve met everyone from – from the former treasury secretary to everyone – it’s not going to cause inflation, number one.
Secondly, it would generate economic growth—the opposite—because you have people who are, in effect, now going to be freed up to be able to borrow money to buy a house, to be able to start businesses, to do the things that must be done.
And I found it absolutely fascinating that some of the people who were talking about “it’s a big spend” were the same people who got $158,000 in PPP, including the – what’s her name? This woman who believes in — anyway. Lots of Republicans got a lot of money – the very ones who criticize him.
So that — it’s just not — I think that’s a good thing, it frees up a lot of people, it’s going to grow the economy. We still have a long way to go, but I am 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 he has declassified all these documents. Could he have declassified them all?
THE PRESIDENT: “Well, I just want to know, I’ve declassified everything in the world. I am president. I can do it – “Come on. All declassified?
I will not comment. I mean, because I don’t know the details. I don’t even want to know. I leave that to the Department of Justice.
Q Mr. President, simply put, is it ever appropriate for a president to bring home classified and top secret documents?
THE PRESIDENT Depending on the circumstances. For example, I have a completely secure enclosed space at home. I’m taking home today’s APB today. It is locked. I have one person with me – military with me. I read it, locked it up and gave it to the soldiers.
Q Without a specialized area in which you can declassify documents, is it ever appropriate for a president to bring home classified and top secret documents?
THE PRESIDENT It depends on the document, and it depends on the security of the room. Thanks.
Q What did you mean by semi-fascism, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: (Laughs.) You know what I mean.
Q Mr President, Angola just had an election (inaudible) two days ago and everything went well. What is the President’s opinion? Because you recently announced a $2 billion investment for Angola, which everyone is very excited about. Your comment on this?
THE PRESIDENT That answers the question, doesn’t it? Do you think we’d give away $2 billion if we weren’t excited about what happened?
Q Mr President, how is the First Lady feeling?
THE PRESIDENT She’s still recovering.