Biden focused on ‘taking control,’ not impeachment

President-elect Joe Biden says the second impeachment of President Donald Trump is “a decision for the Congress to make. I’m focused on my job.”
30:58 | 01/08/21

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Transcript for Biden focused on ‘taking control,’ not impeachment
This is an ABC news special report now reporting chief anchor George Stephanopoulos. Good afternoon we're coming in the air right now because present like just about his bats take questions from the press in the wake of that siege of the capitol on Wednesday. Just announce more members of his economic team completed the selection of this cabinet. They spoke along with the vice president elect Connolly Harrison now. The president elect is is coming to the podium prepared to take questions let's listen. Well folks. We take him your questions. Chances accused squeaked through it. But. Me youth. To determine who. Talking. Mr. President elect. While he has -- here as you've been announced seen your economic team. We've learned that house Democrats are currently playing to win mean to introduce articles of impeachment against president Tron. As soon as Monday at that point it'll be just a little over a week. Before the president leaves office do you believe this is a good idea. Look our area. I've thought for a long long time. The president troop wasn't fit to hold the job spy Rick. And my job now is enough. Twelve days. God willing I'll be present news today's America. I'm focused owned. The urgency of three immediate concerns. Won. The virus. Can do to control. Kennedy the vaccine through filed with the people's arms with the way it's being done now has been. Been very very said. Number two we've had 4000 deaths. 4000 deaths yesterday. And things continue to rise to escalate that's my number one concern to get the virus under control. We lost over 125000. Jobs. This last month and people are really really really desperate shape. And so I'm focused on the virus. Vaccine and economic growth. What the congress decides to do is. Eschew them to decide. But I'm gonna have to they're not be ready. To hit the ground running because one. Com we'll Myers for a news we're going to be introducing immediately. Significant piece of legislation do with the virus. Do with the economy. And and deal with economic growth. So under we're gonna do our job and congress can decide how to proceed there. But the democratic member of congress were to call and ask for your advice about whether they should proceed with us what would you tell them. A tone that's a decision the congressman I'm focused on my job. And did you speak with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi before this decision was made or is not a conversation that's still going to happen. I'll be speaking you is this the in the democratic leadership this afternoon's tracked. About my agenda as well last whatever they want to talk to me. Fixing mr. prison. Thank you I want to ask you that your agenda in light of the jobs report they came out today you're going to be laying out the principles of your plan. Do you think that the need for the in the coated relief bill is greater than you anticipated. And what is the price tag that you're looking at I'd been told it could be in the choose which three trillion dollar range. And then as it relates to the direct cash payments you've talked about the need for 2000 dollar checks do you want to see that you need. The senate stand alone bill as a way to speed up the process where do you think those those direct cash payments should be. Part of the package that you're going to be proposing. War going to be proposing entire package. And parts of that pack your vehicle consequence people unemployment insurance. Being able to continue with rent forbearance. A whole whole range of issues. On it and so that's number one I'm we think that they all have to go. The price tag will be high. But as I said name three are scant reference to in my opening comments. The overwhelm mean. Consensus among leading economist. Left right center. Is that in order to keep the economy from collapsing this year getting much much worse he should be investing significant amounts of money right now. To grow the economy. And that's pretty wide consensus. And as you know Moody's had an analysis what I originally had been talking about. And said that it was necessary to keep the economy from going down. We've raised we've created eighteen point six million jobs create cheap trillion dollars more an economic growth and the other administration would fissile core administration. So. It is necessary to spend the money now he answers yes it will be in the trillions of dollars entire package. But it will be who Europe I'll be here next Thursday's laying out in detail. How that practice gonna go with the basic story is simple. That if we don't act now things really get much worse it harder to get out of a hole later we have to invest now. Secondly we're going to have to meet the emergency needs of the American people. I mean literally I know you know this cabinet people are having trouble just put them through the table. Just having a state keep the payment of their car may be able to turn the lights out. There's a dire dire need to act now purely out of what is the humanitarian aid here. And thirdly we're going near the third stage of this whole story is we're going to have to invest. As I suggest throughout the campaign. In infrastructure. Needed health care and a whole range of things that are going to generate good paying jobs that war costs grow the economy. So that's a long answer your short question which is that. The idea of with interest rates as low as they are with the Fed having had its power. The taken away in terms with that you do to help this administration like last. It's important across the board every major kind of since we should be investing in deficit spending in order to generate economic growth. And I wanted to ask you about what took place at the capitol this week. You served in the senate for 36 years. And importantly you were there in 1983. When there was an explosion in the senate corder. You were there in 1990 win to capitol police officers were were shot you were there during the anthrax attacks in 2001. What kind of an investigation needs to take police and what steps need take place you. Improve this security in the capital and then secondly how do you think. That the people who were involved. In these. In in the storming of the capitol how should they be treated by your Justice Department should they be treated as domestic terrorists. Yes we should be treated as their bunch of thoughts. Insurrection this white supremacist anti semites. Six and is not enough I mean c'mon you know these shirts there were. These are bunch of thugs. Thugs. And they're terrorists domestic terrorists. And that'll be a judgment through the the Justice Department to make as to what charges should be. But the fact is they should be prosecuted. They should be prosecuted the difference serious. This had the active encouragement. Of a city president of the United States. And the way in which the breakdown in security occurred. Needs to be thoroughly investigated I'm not gonna pre judge. What it was but the idea. The idea. That these people were able just march up the stairs marching in. And doing away with we had there's a great to bake I don't know the answer great debate now. Was there as well as the governor of Maryland correct when he said that I was ready to send in the National Guard I couldn't get authorization. What happened it deserves at full blown investigation. People be held accountable. And act steps taken that supplements could never happen again. And the difference this time it's everybody every nation has dealt every democracies dealt with individual. Terrorist attacks by groups that are in very tart. The largest target was nine elevenths the buildings. Well right down to blowing up. You know bomb going off from the cap when I was there to policeman but the idea. And thousands of people. Thousands of people. Could be march heating up the steps of the United States capitol. Breaking windows breaking doors forcing their way you. Stepping aside and the photographs of why don't know what the circumstances the photograph looked like he read some of the capital please take itself these with these people. That has to be thoroughly investigated. The authorities responsible have to be held accountable for the failures that occurred and we have to make sure that this can never ever happen again. The damage done to our reputation. Around the world by a treasure United States encouraging them Bopp. A mob issue money remorse. Season. A stateside visited. And of about under countries that don't. In third. Tin horn dictatorships. Is just cannot be sustained. Has to be immediately immediately. Investigated. In death. People have to be held account and lastly do you think you need to change any of the planning for your inauguration as a resolve this. Totally different. Kennedy is in charge of inauguration who's in charge protecting capped a Secret Service. I have great confidence in the Secret Service a great confidence in their ability. To make sure that the the inauguration goes off goes off safely and goes off. Without a hitch so it's a different so I have confidence in. What is thrown it into the planning an under way before this. And continues with the Secret Service its grievances. President what Biden vice president elect terrorists to deceive both. I would pick up on something that you just said about president trump actively encouraging the insurrection at the capitol. Given that given that perceived threat that he poses. A question to you is not so much about the role that congress should play impeachment but rather. Should president trump in your estimation remain in office. I didn't think look. I've been saying for now well over here. He's not fit to serve. He's not fit to serve. He's wrong most incompetent. Presence in the history of the United States of America. And so the idea that I think he shouldn't be out of office yesterday. Is not petition. Question is what happens with fourteen days left to go or thirteen days of ticket. And I think that. What. 81 million people stood up and says it's time for indigo. In the United States senate. Voted 93 to six. To confirm that we should be sworn we were we were duly elected. So I think it's important regional of the business. Getting him out of office the quickest way that that will happen. Is must be sworn to twenties. What action happens before or after that is a judgment for the congress to make but that's what I am looking forward to. Him leaving office I was told that on the way up here way over here. That he indicated he wasn't gonna show up at the act inauguration. When the few things he and I river Drina. It's a good thing and not showing. Earlier he'd said that if you'd hope that he would show up only in the sensitive was valuable to send a signal to the world about the transfer power he clearly changed her perspective on Iraq. Because he has clearly demonstrate the exceeded even my worst notions. He's been an embarrassment. To the country. Embarrassed us around the world. Not worthy. Not worthy to hold that office. If we where six months out. We should read everything you get him out of office impeaching him again. Invoked trying to invoke the 25 amendment whatever took to get him out of office. But I am focus now. Want us to keep control. As president vice president on the twenties. And get our agenda movies pretension can thank. Another question about holding public officials to account and this is about an issue that's no longer a headline but there's no less significant and serious. That's about the more than 600 children who were orphans under the trump administration. As a result of the Stanley separation policy along the border during the campaign you said that practice is criminal. Can you commit will you commit to making short at the top administration officials responsible for that policy will be held to account. Commit that our. Justice Department and our investigative arms little. Make judgments about who is responsible. How they're responsible and whether or not the conduct is criminal crossed work. But I said yesterday. I'm not gonna tell the Justice Department who they should prosecute and who they should not. That's a judgment will be made by the attorney general of the United States of America not influenced by me. But there will be a thorough thorough investigation. Who's responsible and whether or not the responsibilities. Criminal. And that is to concluded. The attorney general make that judgment I will not intervene to tellem who we shouldn't shouldn't Reuters future. And lastly beyond the Covert plan which you've detail what is your. What are your legislative priorities he talked about infrastructure you've talked about introducing an immigration bill. After January 20 you'll control Democrats credible control the house and the senate what do you do first. Two different news three different issues that same question. Warren. Commitments I made that I what I would introduce. Not necessarily regret moved to introduce in the United States congress first I won't do. I will introduce. An immigration bill. Immediately. And have a sense of the appropriate committees to begin move. I will in fact. Countered rid of the executive orders that the president has the fact initiated. That are contrary to what I think is either his authority and or. Even if its authority contrary interest united states of environmentalists original arrangement things. And thirdly. I will immediately move ago. The most urgent need of asking the congress to give me the financial wherewithal. To deal with the virus. To deal with the virus. To be able to move so that we have operation works he really working. Warp speed got. The the the back seat to places. That were delivered but did not get them from those files in the people's arms. And so it is a gigantic logistical. Concern. Of how we do that I'm committed to get 100 men and shots in people's arms. In the first 100 days I'm committed to insisting that at all federal jurisdictions. Anyplace I have control is president. February mandated to Wear a mask and an interstate transportation straws federal facilities. And thirdly I'm committed to moving as rapidly as possible. To get the vaccine. To teachers in the material to children. That can provide for the safe opening of our schools at the end of that beginning at the and at that hundred days. There the most urgent things we have to do now. Not immediately pardon me officers from be vulnerable things as you well know because you're a seasoned veteran of how this policy work. And that is that there will be other committees will be holding hearings on a whole range of issues from. My positions on infrastructure what we should be doing to generate. Green economy. Our and so on but in terms of the immediate need to get done not just introduced but to get. Don't voted on and get the money and resources do it it turns out that the most urgent need is dealing with. He virus number one. And economic relief to Americans who through no fault room are living Kennedy. Thank you Mr. President elect and madam vice president elect I want to follow up with respect to you what you just said about the inauguration and that it's a good thing that. The president is not coming but what about the vice president Mike Pence is welcome. I think it's important that. Song be as much as we can stick to what have been. This store co precedents of how in the search and rich administration changes should be maintained. And so if Mike if the vice president. His welcome a calm and honored to have him there and and to move forward in the transition. Have you spoken to him I don't know ahead. And you have called for our unity and healing in this country. But after the events of one state does that make your job easier. Or harder. I think it makes my job easier quite frankly. I've had a number of my Republican colleagues. Former conflicts not to serve in the senate for a long time. Call me they are many of them or us outraged and disappointed and embarrassed and mortified. By the president's conduct as science and Democrats. And I think it's. I have said from the beginning and I have not changed my view. My over arching objective. Is to unify. This country. We must unify the country and I think that you've heard me say this before and I apologize repeating so. Put understandably the questions are repetitive in good of either I've not been critical question. And that is that there's two ways people are inspired. Plane's operational leaders and bite charitable features. I chair news. What this praises dramas ripped the band aid all the way off. To let the country know who we is. And what he's about. How thoroughly unfit for office it's and you see already. Number Republicans. I was so proud. I know we're on opposite sides argue criticized some some of the people my party for saying this but I've worked very hard with and against. The former the president the former shouldn't be former majority leader Mitch McConnell. I thought 47 before United States and was in fact the right thing to do. He stood up he's ashamed. I spoke with the guy have enormous respectful. Enormous respect and I read against him. Mitt Romney. I spoke to bit this morning again this is a man of enormous integrity. And enormous integrity. Who lives his faith. There are so many more but there's others. Who should be ashamed of themselves. But they make up a minority. Of the Republican Party this is an about Republican Democrat. This is about. People who understand. What this country's about. And the things we have to agree on moved together. I I just think that. If you look at it. Speaking to some of my Republican colleagues who have spoken to a number of them over the last. Last month since I've been since we've been elected. Through recently as the day which this got off of the bock was taking place up on the hill. Isn't. I think they understand that they're gonna have to we need a Republican Party we need an opposition that's principled strong. I think you're going to see them going through this idea of what constitutes Republican Party. And this year some of my colleagues Republican colleagues talk about how shameful it is. On the way Ted Cruz and others are dealing with us how they're responsible as well for what happened. Dean I think some of them should resign since senator crews to work so are calling resign I think they should be just let beat you next time. I think the American public hasn't Rio could clear look at details. They're part of the big lie. Big lie I was be reminded by. Friend tomorrow. Maybe you written can't recall when we're told that you know gold bulls and the great lie you keep repeating the line repeating the line. Well there is a trait that when in Dresden was bomb. Fireball there were 250 people. That were killed it was a 2500. People were killed. And Coble said no 275000. Were killed. And our papers printed. Our papers printed it's the big line. People who swim think for wouldn't. Want to move to repeat the lie over and over and over again. By the way trump said that before he ran if you say it enough. I'm really convention. I'll say it enough the press is bad the press is bad the press is bad press has bet if he's the only one seater that's one thing. But the acolytes that follow him. Like cruise and others. They are is responsible sees. And so it's not about whether or not they get impeached. It's about whether or not they help can continue to hold power because there to discuss the American people have for their actions third decent people out there. Who actually believe. These lines. Because it heard it again and again I was with a friend of mine's a medical doctor. Telling me that his neighbor said to him he lives in another state. His neighbors a good person said but you know doc this is true there's a lot of a lot of a lot of chicanery that went on this election. So tell me what well I guess no there was. I say it is they say it is. This is the human condition you say it and say it insane and say. The degree to which it becomes corrosive. Is in direct proportion remember people who say it. And so its interest you knew me and I was. Pleased to hear some more prominent Republicans say to me. That take cruises of the world are as responsible. In terms of people believing the lie. As. Not as responsible similar responsible electoral. But they didn't say go to the capitol. I'll be with you followed it's a different story. Thank you. Thank you thank you all star reserve the president elect Biden accusing president trump and his followers in the senate who. Pursued those things like who fought objective Electoral College vote late Ted Cruz and pursuing a big lie. Strategy makes news there at the press covers it comes and an afternoon when house speaker Nancy Pelosi is now with remembers discussing putting impeachment. On the house floor next week the vice pres president elect said that was a decision for the congress to make pointedly said that twice and it's not his prayer but not did not. Part do you have any pretense of giving them direction and that's that is not his decision to Mickelson that his justice from you would expect. Would pursue those who sees the capitol on Wednesday as domestic. Terrorist wanna start what Mary researching congressional. Correspondent that congress has been. Consider this question of impeachment a second impeachment for president trump all day long. Pres elect Biden did nothing to douse those flames. No he punted to congress essentially and Nancy Pelosi is it seems trying to put much pressure as possible. On president trump for resigned that of course doesn't seem likely and if he doesn't she has told her members that they. Will and should pursue impeachment is something that top Democrats have said they could bring to the floor as soon as next week. But I think the underlying tone there from Joseph Biden obviously is that this is not something. That he as it is eager to support he has been very wary in the past. Noting that he didn't think his administration prior to this assault on the capital should necessarily BB getting tied up in a lot of investigations of his predecessor. Biden was blunt in saying that he thinks the best way to get rid of Donald Trump is to move bored with. Biden Harrison their inauguration in twelve days and of course he does think that. Donald Trump is unfit for office he has said that repeatedly that he said that for a year even prior to what we saw the horrific. Acts that we saw earlier this week but there is a broader question here about accountability. Because Joseph Biden made very clear yet some harsh words for those. An arc case insurrection is too good. Stormed the capital calling them thugs white supremacist domestic terrorists and he said they should be prosecuted. The question is what should happen to Donald Trump a moment Joseph Biden has made very clear he feels bears responsibility. Bert van overtaking of the capital. He was very clear about felony reappear connoisseur Chief Justice correspondent Pierre the prosecutions. And arrests of those who seize the capital continuing today. They continue today additional charges have been brought George. But I must tell you there's a great sadness across the city. With the death of that officer. Injured. As he engaged that mob. That took over the capital law enforcement officials heartbroken by what happened they are vowing they are vowing to found out exactly how he died. Was he assault. Was he in fact murdered that is one of the questions they're trying to resolve. But what is some kind of medical emergency but they believe that somehow in association with engaging that crowd this man is dead. So law enforcement is grieving today serious situation. They did announce some new charges today including. Against the man who went in Nancy Pelosi is office stuck his feet up on the desk. Of the ops took male out of her office they announced that he have been charged. Today they are vowing to find out each and every person. Who did an act of violence in the capital and also they want to know as much as they can about all the different people who were on those grounds there are. Images of people had signs about yield six million Jews dying is not enough size about outs which. White supremacist they believe were aren't. On the scene so George our on going situation investigation under way. I'm law enforcement official. Vowing to get the bottom no question how will continue other investigations as well finally bring in our chief global affairs anchor Martha recipe is Martha bass speaker Nancy Pelosi also an unusual move. Police letter this afternoon telling her members of congress are fellow members a congress that she called. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff mark Millie for some reassurance that in these final days in office president trump won't be. Able to have some kind of an unauthorized launch of nuclear arsenal of nuclear weapons. It exactly George she said she spoke to the chairman and urges the staff and they discussed this. I can tell you George it was largely a one way conversation with Nancy Pelosi. Talking about her concerns and a very very unusual that she would make something like this public. And I am told that chairman Millie assured her. There was not going to be any sort of accidental launch and as you know George there are procedures in place. There are guard rails are now we policy in the movies and there is the nuclear football that is always with the president of the United States but their procedures in place in the Pentagon. With that the combatant commanders Scott com in this in this. Plan that would be involved in any sort of procedural so there are no worries there from the Pentagon having said that. We are at a vulnerable time because of what's happened on Capitol Hill we were at a vulnerable time. A month about where and when president trump would not concede the election because our allies or adversaries. Look at us and realize the state of our government and when they see images like that. On Capitol Hill and that assault on Capitol Hill that insurrection. There are concerns but I know the Pentagon leadership is pretty confident they have things under. Try Martha Raddatz thanks for my tree and continue our coverage on ABC news live you just saw the president elect Joseph Biden they're saying that. His just for it will pursue all those who are part of the siege of the capitol on Wednesday it's up to congress whether or not to impeach the president. He's going to focus on getting this virus and or control. Rebuilding this economy when he takes the office the president twelve days but the fallout from the siege continues. In these final twelve days of the trump presidency we'll also much more event world news educated here have a good after. This has been a special report. From ABC.

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