WH: Biden 'not looking to influence' Chauvin trial

The White House says President Joe Biden was “not looking to influence” the outcome of the Derek Chauvin trial after he said he was praying for "the right verdict." (April 20)

Video Transcript

- Is there concerns now that this, the president's comments, could be grounds for an appeal? Or even causing a mistrial?

JEN PSAKI: Well, I wouldn't-- I think those were comments the judge made yesterday. Again, the jury is sequestered, which the president also noted in his comments. He certainly is not looking to influence, but he has been touched by the impact on the family, hence he called the family yesterday and had that discussion. And again, I expect he will weigh in further, once there is a verdict.

- Why is it appropriate for him to weigh in on the verdict, even though the jury is secluded?

JEN PSAKI: I wouldn't think-- I don't think he would see it as weighing in on the verdict. He was conveying what many people are feeling across the country, which is compassion for the family, what a difficult time this is, what a difficult time this is for many Americans across the country who have been watching this trial very closely.

- Is it a double standard to not condemn or speak out against the comments by Maxine Waters, even if she didn't mean to imply violence?

JEN PSAKI: Well, first I would say that the Congresswoman has provided further clarification of her own remarks, and I would certainly point to that. And if we're looking, in this scenario, we're looking at a family who has lost someone. They've just watched the trial, they've seen the video play over, and over, and over again. Families across the country have watched the trial, watched the video played over and over again.

Clearly, the impact of trauma and the exhaustion is on communities of color around the country, more than it is on others. And the president recognizes this is an extremely painful issue. And of course, you know, sympathizes with everyone who feels the grief of George Floyd's passing, as well as the killings of so many other people of color at the hands of law enforcement.