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Remarks by President Biden Before Marine One Departure

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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 do want to say we had a great economic report today.

Last month, minus-one inflation.  Not up, not — down.  Actually down.  The economy is looking good.  So far, we’re hanging in, and I feel good about it.  But we got a long way to go.

Q    If only 75 percent of the people take advantage of the student loan program, do you consider it a success if only 75 percent of the people take advantage of it?

THE PRESIDENT:  I’ll consider it a success if only 10 percent take advantage of it.  Look, people need help.  And by the way, the end result of this is — as I’ve met with everyone from — from the former Secretary of Treasury to everyone else — this is not going to cause inflation, number one.

Number two, it would generate economic growth — the opposite — because you got people who are, in fact, now going to be freed up to be able to go borrow money to buy a home, to be able to start businesses, to do the things that need to be done.

And I found it absolutely fascinating that some of the folks who were talking about “this is big spending” are the same people that got $158,000 in PPP money, including the — what’s her name?  That woman who believes in the — anyway.  A whole lot of Republicans got a lot of money — the very people criticizing it.

So, it — it’s just not — I think it’s a good thing, it frees a lot of people up, it’s going to grow the economy.  We still have a way to go, but I’m 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 that he declassified all these documents.  Could he have just declassified them all?

THE PRESIDENT:  “Well, I just want to know, I’ve declassified everything in the world.  I’m President.  I can do it –”  Come on.  Declassified everything?

I’m not going to comment.  I mean, because I don’t know the detail.  I don’t even want to know.  I’ll let the Justice Department take care of that.

Q    Mr. President, in simple terms, is it ever appropriate for a President to take home with them classified and top secret documents?

THE PRESIDENT:  Depending on the circumstance.  For example, I have, in my home, a cabined-off space that is completely secure.  I’m taking home with me today today’s PDB.  It’s locked.  I have a person with me — military with me.  I read it, I lock it back up, and give it to the military.

Q    Without a specialized area in which you can declassify documents, is it ever appropriate for a president to bring classified and top secret documents home with them?

THE PRESIDENT:  It depends on the document, and it depends on how secure the room is.  Thank you.

Q    What did you mean by semi-fascism, sir?

THE PRESIDENT:  (Laughs.)  You know what I mean.

Q    Mr. President, Angola just had a (inaudible) election two days ago and everything went good.  What is the view of Mr. President?  Because you recently announced $2 billion investment for Angola, which everybody is very excited.  Your comment on that?

THE PRESIDENT:  That answers the question, doesn’t it?  You think we’d give $2 billion if we weren’t excited about what happened?

Thank you.

Q    Mr. President, how is the First Lady feeling?

THE PRESIDENT:  She’s still recovering.