Biden’s 1st call to foreign leader will be to Trudeau Friday, says press secretary


White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters in the White House briefing room tonight that U.S. President Joe Biden will speak to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Friday. 

Psaki confirmed the call during her first briefing with the news media, saying the two leaders will discuss bilateral issues, including Biden’s decision to formally revoke the permit needed to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Earlier today, Trudeau said in a statement that he is “disappointed but acknowledge the president’s decision to fulfil his election campaign promise on Keystone XL.”

Before taking questions, Psaki told reporters that she has a deep respect for the role of “a free and independent press in our democracy.”

She vowed to bring truth and transparency to the White House briefing room, a clear reference to her predecessors under President Donald Trump.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki gives her 1st briefing at the White House, after the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States, January 20, 2021. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

Will leave impeachment to Congress

In reply to a question, Psaki said Biden will allow Congress to decide the way forward on the Trump impeachment trial.

She said the administration is instead focused on the pandemic and the economic crisis that have engulfed the country for nearly a year, though she noted that the Senate can handle multiple issues at once.

“We are confident that … the Senate … can do their constitutional duty while continuing to conduct the business of the American people,” Psaki told reporters.

Trump was impeached last week on a charge of inciting an insurrection. It was his second impeachment, a record for any president.

The Trump administration took an openly combative tone with the news media. Sean Spicer, who was Trump’s first press secretary, set the tenor four years ago by claiming that the audience at Trump’s inauguration was the largest in history, despite photographic evidence to the contrary.

Trump’s White House had all but abandoned the practice of briefing reporters daily by the end of his tenure.

Psaki promised to restore daily weekday briefings. 

Psaki is a veteran of the Obama administration. She served as a White House communications director and a spokesperson at the U.S. State Department. 

Upon naming his communications team in late November, Biden said “Communicating directly and truthfully to the American people is one of the most important duties of a president, and this team will be entrusted with the tremendous responsibility of connecting the American people to the White House.”



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