President Joe Biden will seek to close the prison on the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay following a review process, resuming a project begun under the Obama administration, the White House said Friday.
Watch the press briefing in the video player above.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said it was the “intention” of the Biden administration to close the detention facility, something President Barack Obama pledged to do within a year shortly after he took office in January 2009.
Psaki gave no timeline, telling reporters that the formal review would be “robust” and would require the participation of officials from the Department of Defense, the Justice Department and other agencies who have not yet been appointed under the new administration.
Psaki also said even though Biden has not spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by phone, it has not been an intentional snub.
“It is just a reflection of the fact that we have been here for three and a half weeks, she said.
“He’s not called every single global leader yet, and he is eager to do that in the weeks ahead.”
Psaki also echoed yesterday’s criticism of China by the State Department after Beijing banned the BBC World News television channel from the few outlets where it could be seen in the country.
The move in China came after British regulators revoked the license of state-owned Chinese broadcaster CGTN.
Finally, Psaki indicated that White House deputy press secretary T.J. Ducklo has been suspended for a week without pay after he reportedly issued a sexist and profane threat to a journalist seeking to cover his relationship with another reporter.
Psaki said that Ducklo’s conduct was “completely unacceptable.”
Ducklo’s personal life came under scrutiny earlier this week when Politico reported on his relationship with a reporter for the news outlet Axios who was assigned to cover the Biden campaign and its transition.
On Friday, Vanity Fair published a report citing two unnamed sources that Ducklo had threatened the Politico reporter to try to suppress the story, telling her “I will destroy you.”