President Biden sought to return the focus to Covid-19 relief and deferred to the Senate on the impeachment trial that began just over an hour ago, declining to weigh in substantively on the historic proceedings underway.
Asked by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins if he will watch the trial, Biden said he is focused on the work of being President during global health and economic crises.
“I am not – look, I told you before. I have a job. My job is to keep – we’ve already lost over 450,000 people and we’re going to lose a whole lot more if we don’t act and act decisively and quickly. A lot of people, as I said, a lot of children are going to bed hungry. A lot of families are food insecure. That’s my job,” Biden said in the Oval Office during a meeting with business leaders.
He continued, “The Senate has their job. They're about to begin it. I'm sure they're going to conduct themselves well. And that's all I'm going to have to say about impeachment.”
His comments come one day after White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that Biden “will not spend too much time watching the proceeding, if any time,” though Psaki did acknowledge at Tuesday’s briefing that the trial was of national interest.
CNN has reported that advisers say Biden has no intention to offer his assessment of whether Trump should be convicted – he does not see it as necessary or productive to offer his personal view, which could further complicate his quest for unity. And last month, he told Collins that the trial “has to happen,” though he didn’t think Trump would be convicted.