WH: Biden will use executive orders to overturn ‘harmful, detrimental and ... immoral' actions of Trump administration

At a White House briefing on Thursday, press secretary Jen Psaki said President Biden will use his executive authority to reverse some policies of the Trump administration.

Video Transcript

- Back to the executive orders, the questions we were discussing at the start, because I'm still trying to sort of reconcile this. [INAUDIBLE] are at 26 executive orders now, and reconcile that with the campaign rhetoric, because [INAUDIBLE] said there were limitations on the use of executive actions, things he can't do by executive order, unless you're a dictator. We're a democracy. We need consensus.

I think you said earlier that some of these executive orders were being used to roll back some of the immoral things that the previous administration had done. If you're quoting these things immoral, is that seeking consensus and unity? And then, also does it suggest that President Biden sees himself as perhaps a benevolent dictator?

- Well, Rob, I'm sure this wasn't your intention, but I think you took the President's comments a bit out of context. He was asked about tax reform, and whether that could be done via executive order during the interview with George Stephanopoulos, which you're referring to.

- [INAUDIBLE] question. But I think the--

- Well, I think that-- I think the question is pretty important context for everybody. And he said no. And the president also said during an interview with columnists back in December that he didn't think executive action should be used for everything. And that certainly is his point of view.

But there are steps, including overturning some of the harmful, detrimental, and yes, immoral actions of the prior administration, that he felt he could not wait to overturn. And that's exactly what he did.

Now any historian will tell you that he walked into the presidency at one of the most difficult moments in history. That required additional executive action in order to get immediate relief to the American people. But he believes, as his law is, everybody knows how a bill becomes law, is that in order to make action and policy permanent, you need to work with Congress. That's why he has also proposed a COVID relief package, a big bold package. Some say very big. I agree with that.

And also an immigration bill. He has not held back or delayed putting forward legislation either. So he's going to use the levers that every president in history has used, executive actions. But he also feels it's important to work with Congress, and not just one party, but both parties, to get things.