Biden: Putin Might Talk 'Seriously' on Griner With Election Over

He takes questions on Ukraine, Musk, China during post-midterms press conference
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2022 6:25 PM CST
Biden: Putin Might Talk 'Seriously' on Griner With Election Over
President Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

After delivering remarks on what he called a "strong night" for Democrats in the midterm elections, President Biden spent around 40 minutes Wednesday answering more than two dozen questions from journalists, including one on American basketball star Brittney Griner, who has been moved to a penal colony in Russia. "My hope is that now that the election is over, that Mr. Putin will be able to discuss with us and be willing to talk more seriously about a prisoner exchange," the president said, per the AP. "I am determined to get her home and get her home safely." More:

  • Ukraine aid. Senior House Republicans have criticized aid to Ukraine, but Biden said he expects aid to continue even if the GOP takes control of the House, as appears likely, the Guardian reports. "And by the way, we've not given Ukraine a blank check," he said. "There’s a lot of things Ukraine wants that we didn't do."
  • Kherson. On the Russian withdrawal from the Ukrainian city, Biden said it was interesting that the military had waited until after the elections to issue the order, the New York Times reports. "It's evidence of the fact that they have some real problems, the Russian military," he said.

  • China tensions. Biden said he would "lay out what each of our red lines are" and determine whether they conflict in a proposed meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping next week, reports the AP. He said he is "not willing to make any fundamental concessions" on Taiwan. On a potential alliance between Russia and China, the president said: "I don't think there’s a lot of respect that China has for Russia or Putin. And in fact, they've been sort of keeping the distance a little bit."
  • Elon Musk. When asked if Musk's connections to countries like Saudi Arabia raised national security concerns, Biden said, "I think that Elon Musk's cooperation and, or technical relationships, with other countries is worthy of being looked at, whether or not he is doing anything inappropriate," per the Guardian. "I'm not suggesting that. I'm suggesting that it's worth being looked at."
  • Trump vs. DeSantis. Asked which Republican he would rather face if he runs for a second term in 2024, former President Donald Trump or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Biden said it will "be fun watching them take on each other," the Washington Post reports.
  • His 2024 plans. Biden said his intention is to run again, but seeking a second term would ultimately be a "family decision" and he would wait until after the holidays to announce his decision. "And I don't feel any hurry one way or another to make that judgment, today, tomorrow, whenever, no matter what my predecessor does," he said, per the Hill. Asked if he had a message for the two-thirds of voters who don't want him to run again, according to a recent poll, he said, "Watch me."
(More President Biden stories.)

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