President Joe Biden phoned family members and lawyers for George Floyd just minutes after a Minnesota jury returned a guilty verdict for Chauvin, as he again consoled family members and celebrated a verdict that he said would ‘change the world.’
Biden phoned along with Vice President Kamala Harris and first lady Jill Biden. And in a modern twist, lead attorney Benjamin Crump played the call on speaker phone – with the discussion instantly beamed around the world on social media and cable news.
‘Feeling better now,’ Biden told tearful family members and listeners who gathered around Crump’s phone.
‘Nothing is going to make it all better. But at least, God, now there’s some justice,’ Biden said.
President Joe Biden phoned family members and lawyers for George Floyd and lawyer Benjamin Crump on Tuesday following the verdict in the Derek Chauvin case
Benjamin Crump tweeted out the exchange. He laughed when Biden said he wanted to provide family members a ride on Air Force One during a future trip to Washington
Biden referenced comments by Floyd’s daughter, Gianna, that her late father was going to change the world. ‘He’s going to start to change it now,’ Biden told the group.
Biden previously revealed he also called the family Monday, with the outcome uncertain – and as the White House noted repeatedly, the jury was sequestered.
He told the family afterward: ‘You’re an incredible family. I wish I were there – just [to] put my arms around you.’
He told them he was with White House advisor, former Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, while making the call, which Biden made from the Oval Office.
‘We’ve been watching every second of this, and the vice president, all of us. We were all so relieved, not just one verdict but all three,’ Biden said.
Crump tweeted out video of the exchange.
‘It’s really important. I’m anxious to see you guys, I really am. We’re going to get a lot more done,’ he promised them.
‘We’re going to stay at it until we get it done,’ Biden said.
That prompted Crump to push Biden to act on and sign the George Floyd policing act, which is stalled in the Senate.
‘You got it pal. That and a lot more,’ Biden promised. He said the outcome ‘provided a fresh shot at dealing with genuine systemic racism.’
Harris, the nation’s first black and first female vice president, also spoke.
‘I’m just so grateful for the entire family,’ she said, saluting ‘your courage, your commitment.’
‘This is a day of justice in America,’ Harris said. She called the family ‘real leaders when we needed you.’
‘History will look back at this moment and know that it was an inflection moment,’ she said. ‘We’re going to make something good come out of this tragedy, okay?’ she said.
Then Biden chimed back in. ‘When we do it, we’re going to put you on Air Force One and get you here,’ he said, prompting laughs.
‘We’re going to hold you to that, President Biden,’ Crump responded.
President Joe Biden said he is praying for George Floyd’s family and called the evidence in the Derek Chauvin trial ‘overwhelming’
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden wasn’t weighing in on the verdict but expressing concern about the Floyd family
Earlier Tuesday, Biden said he was praying for the ‘right verdict’ in George Floyd trial and called the evidence ‘overwhelming’ in series of extraordinary comments that came as the jury began its second day of deliberations in the case.
‘I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict. Which is – I think it’s overwhelming in my view,’ Biden told reporters in the Oval office.
‘I wouldn’t say that unless the jury was sequestered now.’
The White House later claimed Biden wasn’t advocating for a particular verdict but expressing compassion for the Floyd family.
‘I don’t think he would see it as weighing in on the verdict,’ White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at her press briefing.
‘He was conveying what many people are feeling across the country, which is compassion for the family.’
She indicated Biden could have more to say after the verdict is rendered.
‘I expect that he will weigh in more, further, once there is a verdict and I’m not going to provide additional analysis on what he meant,’ Psaki said, declining to clarify if Biden wanted Chauvin found guilty on all charges.
She defended Biden’s comments, saying the president had closely followed the trial, has gotten close to the Floyd family and waited to speak until the jury was sequestered.
George Floyd’s brother Philonise reveals President Biden called him on Monday when the jury was sent out to deliberate in Derek Chauvin’s trial
Philonise went on to say: ‘I just feel that in America, if a black man can’t get justice for this, what can a Black man get justice for?’
George W. Bush also discussed the verdict in an interview with Today on Tuesday morning.
‘I think the first thing is, Hoda, that people know that the trial has been conducted fairly. And that rule of law reigns supreme in our judiciary. We’ll see what a jury of his peers says, you know, I think a lot of people have already made up their mind what the verdict ought to be.
‘All I can tell you is that if the trial is not conducted fairly, there is an appeal process. One of the things that we learned after the storming of the Capitol was our institutions held, and one of the institutions that is really important for the confidence of the American people is a fair judicial system.’
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