NBC Actually Presses President to Admit Border ‘Crisis,’ Biden Still Refuses

During an exclusive interview with President Biden aired on NBC’s Today show Friday morning, co-host Craig Melvin actually pressed him on the surge of illegal immigration at the U.S. southern border and tried to get the President to admit that it was a “crisis.” Biden still refused to do so and instead tried to blame the Trump administration for his own failures.

“Before you took office in January, you laid out four crises that demanded urgent action….Immigration was not one of the crises that demanded urgent action in January. Does it demand urgent action now? Is what’s happening at the southern border, is it a crisis?,” Melvin asked. All evidence to the contrary, the President claimed: “It is getting urgent action now.”

 

 

Biden then attempted to lay blame on the Trump administration for a crisis that happened entirely on his watch:

Hey, look, here’s what happened, Craig. The failure to have a real transition, the two departments that didn’t give us access to virtually anything were the immigration, and the Defense Department. So we didn’t find out they had fired a whole lot of people that they were understaffed considerably.

To his credit, Melvin wasn’t having it: “But in April alone, Mr. President, 170,000 people, migrants apprehended at the border, that’s a 20-year record. There are 22,000 unaccompanied children in our country right now. That’s a record. That sounds to most folks like a crisis.”

Biden desperately tried to spin: “Well, look, it’s way down now. We’ve now gotten control.” He again rushed to attack his predecessor:

…they didn’t plan for, which it comes every year, this flow, whether it’s 22,000 or 10,000….They didn’t have the beds that were available. They didn’t plan for the overflow. They didn’t plan for the Department of Health and Human Services to have places to take the kid from the Border Patrol and put them in beds where there’s security and there were people that can take care of them.

Melvin then followed up by recalling one of the President’s unfulfilled campaign promises: “During the campaign, you pledged to reunite hundreds of children who had been separated from their parents by the previous administration. According to our reporting, in your first 100 days, not one child’s been reunited? How is that?”

Showing that he was not exactly on top of things, Biden replied: “I don’t think that’s true, that could be….We’re trying like hell to figure out what happened. It’s almost like being a sleuth, and we’re still continuing to try like hell to find out where they are.”

Wrapping up that portion of the discussion, Melvin clarified: “You’ve said to migrants, ‘Don’t come.’ You said, ‘Don’t come.’ You’re very clear. Would you tell parents in Central America and Mexico, ‘Don’t send your kids’?…‘Don’t send your kids,’ that’s the message?” The President declared: “Do not send your kids, period.”

In addition to demanding answers on the border crisis, Melvin began the exchange by questioning Biden’s massive spending proposals: “In your first 100 days, you’ve proposed $6 trillion in new spending and you plan to pay for it by raising taxes on people, on businesses, on investments. Why tax and spend so much when the economy is still recovering as a result of the pandemic?”

After President made the predictable left-wing argument that wasteful government spending was somehow the path to economic recovery, Melvin countered: “Democrats and Republicans for generations have been, shall we say, skeptical about the ability of big government to do big things. What makes you so confident that skepticism has changed?”

Following a speech full of socialist proposals, Biden laughably denied loving big government: “Well, first of all, the facts don’t reflect that. I don’t have any inordinate faith in government, but there’s certain things only the government can do.”

Of course Melvin never used the terms “socialist,” “radical,” or even “left-wing” to describe Biden’s plans.    

In another moment from the interview, Melvin invited Biden to lecture South Carolina Senator Tim Scott on racism in America: “I watched the rebuttal from the junior senator of South Carolina last night, Tim Scott. He said, among other things, America isn’t racist. Is it?”

Melvin’s interview with Biden was brought to viewers by Amazon and Procter & Gamble.

Here is a full transcript of the questions to Biden during the April 30 segment:

7:03 AM ET

CRAIG MELVIN: And President Biden is focusing on the future as well, holding a rally in Atlanta, Thursday, to start selling that multi-trillion-dollar economic plan to voters.

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: But before the President made that trip, Craig, you sat down with him, an exclusive interview at the White House yesterday.
        
MELVIN: And we talked about government spending, we talked about racism in America, the Rudy Giuliani raid, and the situation at the southern border as well, which the President still refuses to call a crisis. But the tough sell facing President Biden for the price tag of his ideas is where we started our conversation.

In your first 100 days, you’ve proposed $6 trillion in new spending and you plan to pay for it by raising taxes on people, on businesses, on investments. Why tax and spend so much when the economy is still recovering as a result of the pandemic?

(…)

MELVIN: Democrats and Republicans for generations have been, shall we say, skeptical about the ability of big government to do big things. What makes you so confident that skepticism has changed?  

JOE BIDEN: Well, first of all, the facts don’t reflect that. I don’t have any inordinate faith in government, but there’s certain things only the government can do.

(…)

MELVIN: I watched the speech last night, I watched the address. And then, I watched the rebuttal from the junior senator of South Carolina last night, Tim Scott. He said, among other things, America isn’t racist. Is it?

BIDEN: No, I don’t think the American people are racist but I think after 400 years, African-Americans have been left in a position where they are so far behind the eight ball in terms of education, health, in terms of opportunity.

(…)

MELVIN: Let’s talk about the pandemic. It has defined your first 100 days. And there’s a recent poll that came out that showed 40% of Marines said they’re not going to get vaccinated. Once the FDA gives final approval for the vaccinations – not emergency use authorization, but final approval – will you order service members to get the COVID vaccine?

BIDEN: I don’t know. I’m going to leave that to the military.

MELVIN: But why not?

(…)

MELVIN: Kids in K through 12 schools obviously are not going to be able to get the vaccine by the fall. Should all schools in this country be open this fall for five day a week, in-person learning regardless?

(…)

MELVIN: The CDC guidance this week about outdoor mask wearing, a lot of folks excited that they can now shed these masks if they’ve been double vaccinated. Are you going to be one of these folks, now, are we no longer going to see the President of the United States outside with a mask on?  

(…)

MELVIN: Before you took office in January, you laid out four crises that demanded urgent action. The pandemic was obviously one of them, the economic fallout as a result of the pandemic was one of them, climate change, and racial inequality. Immigration was not one of the crises that demanded urgent action in January. Does it demand urgent action now? Is what’s happening at the southern border, is it a crisis?

BIDEN: It is getting urgent action now. For example, a month ago, we had thousands of young kids in custody in places they shouldn’t be, and controlled by the Border Patrol. We have now cut that down dramatically. Hey, look, here’s what happened, Craig. The failure to have a real transition, the two departments that didn’t give us access to virtually anything were the immigration, and the Defense Department. So we didn’t find out they had fired a whole lot of people that they were understaffed considerably.

MELVIN: But in April alone, Mr. President, 170,000 people, migrants apprehended at the border, that’s a 20-year record. There are 22,000 unaccompanied children in our country right now. That’s a record. That sounds to most folks like a crisis.

BIDEN: Well, look, it’s way down now. We’ve now gotten control. For example, we have – they didn’t plan for, which it comes every year, this flow, whether it’s 22,000 or 10,000.

MELVIN: Seasonal –

BIDEN: They didn’t have the beds that were available. They didn’t plan for the overflow. They didn’t plan for the Department of Health and Human Services to have places to take the kid from the Border Patrol and put them in beds where there’s security and there were people that can take care of them. So there’s a significant change right now, significant change in the circumstance for children coming to and at the border.

MELVIN: During the campaign, you pledged to reunite hundreds of children who had been separated from their parents by the previous administration. According to our reporting, in your first 100 days, not one child’s been reunited? How is that?

BIDEN: I don’t think that’s true, that could be. What we have done is we have united children with their families as they’ve come across the border. But one of the things is we don’t know yet where those kids are. We’re trying like hell to figure out what happened. It’s almost like being a sleuth, and we’re still continuing to try like hell to find out where they are.

MELVIN: You’ve said to migrants, “Don’t come.” You said, “Don’t come.” You’re very clear. Would you tell parents in Central America and Mexico, “Don’t send your kids”?

BIDEN: Absolutely. And look, here’s the deal –  

MELVIN: So “Don’t send your kids,” that’s the message?

BIDEN: Do not send your kids, period. They’re in jeopardy going – making that thousand mile trek. And so what we’re doing now is we’re going back to those countries in question where most of it’s coming from and saying “Look, you can apply from your country. You don’t have to make this trek.”

MELVIN: Federal investigators searched the home and the office of Rudy Giuliani as part of an investigation into his time as President Trump’s attorney, his dealings with Ukraine. Were you aware of that raid before it happened?

(…)

MELVIN: Have you been briefed on any other investigation involving –  

BIDEN: No, and I’m not asking to be briefed.

(…)

MELVIN: We should note that Rudy Giuliani responded to that overnight, saying whether President Biden knew or not, he is being unfairly targeted as well.

GUTHRIE: Alright, good conversation. I know you’ll have more of it a little bit later.

MELVIN: We will. We’ll have more of it, including some breaking news regarding Major the dog and the new addition to the First Family as well. Dr. Jill Biden’s going to join us coming up on the 3rd Hour. The First Lady sharing her take, as an educator herself, on the reopening of schools and more.

GUTHRIE: Alright, look forward to that.

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