Sat. Sep 24th, 2022

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

3:20 P.M. EDT

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Good afternoon.

Q    Good afternoon.

Q    Good afternoon.

MS. JEAN-PIERRE:  Oh, it’s so good.  Love it.

I just want to say a few words about the verdict — the Brittney Griner verdict.

So, today’s sentencing is a reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney.  She never should have had to endure a trial in the first place.

We have repeatedly called for Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates.

Under President Biden’s direction, the U.S. government continues to work aggressively, pursuing every avenue to bring home Brittney, Paul Whelan, and every American held hostage and wrongfully detained around the world.

As you all know, we have made a substantial offer to bring her and Paul Whelan home.  We urge Russia to accept that proposal.

I’m not able to share more publicly at this time, but we are willing to take every step necessary to bring home our people, as we demonstrated with Trevor Reed.  And that’s what we’re going to do here.

I can assure you this is something the President and our national security team are focused on every single day.

The President receives regular updates about the status of our negotiations to secure Brittney’s release, as well as the release of Paul Whelan and other U.S. nationals who are wrongfully detained or held hostage in Russia and around the world.

So we will continue our — we will continue to focus on getting our U.S. nationals home.

So, additionally, as you have — you might seen — you have might seen, the People’s Republic of China launched 11 ballistic missiles towards Taiwan.

To speak on this and other foreign policy news of the day, National Security Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby is here to join with — join me today.  And he’ll take over and take your questions.

Go ahead.

Full text of the press conference minutes ->

MR. KIRBY.  Thank you, Karine.  Good afternoon.

As Karine alluded and I’m sure all of you have covered, overnight, the People’s Republic of China launched an estimated 11 ballistic missiles towards Taiwan, which impacted to the northeast, the east, and southeast of the island.

We condemn these actions, which are irresponsible and at odds with our longstanding goal of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and in the region.

China has chosen to overreact and use the Speaker’s visit as a pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait.

We anticipated that China might take steps like this.  In fact, I described them for you in quite some detail just the other day — Monday.  We also expect that these actions will continue and that the Chinese will continue to react in coming days.

The United States is prepared for what Beijing chooses to do.  We will not seek, nor do we want, a crisis.  At the same time, we will not be deterred from op…