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Photo: Jim Watson

President Biden said Friday he won't allow the Justice Department to seize journalists' email or phone records, calling the practice "simply wrong."

Driving the news: Biden's comments come after the recent disclosures that the DOJ, under the Trump administration, secretly obtained the records of several journalists, including one at CNN and three at the Washington Post.

What he's saying: “Absolutely, positively, it’s wrong. It’s simply, simply wrong,” Biden said Friday when asked about the practice.

  • “I won’t let that happen," Biden added when a reporter specifically questioned whether he'd let his Justice Department seize journalists' records.

Yes, but: His comments appeared to contradict White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who suggested earlier Friday that the Justice Department would use the "Holder model," referring to Eric Holder, who was attorney general under former President Obama, AP noted.

  • While Holder updated guidelines for seizing records, including making it harder to subpoena reporters, he did not end the practice, according to AP.
  • “The Justice Department conveyed yesterday that they intend to meet with reporters to hear their concerns about recent notices, and they certainly intend to use the Holder model as their model, not the model of the last several years,” Psaki said Friday. “But really, these decisions would be up to the Justice Department.”
  • The White House on Friday did not immediately clarify if Biden's remarks would be part of any formal guidance.
  • The Justice Department did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

Go deeper

Trump DOJ secretly obtained CNN reporter's email and phone records

Photo: Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Trump administration "secretly sought and obtained" the phone and email records of CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr, CNN reported Thursday.

Why it matters: The disclosure comes less than two weeks after it was revealed that former President Trump's Justice Department obtained phone records of three Washington Post reporters in 2017.

GOP bemoans White House's $550B cut to infrastructure proposal

President Biden meets with Republican senators including Sen. Shelley Capito (W.Va.) to discuss the administration’s infrastructure plan. Photo: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Pool via Getty Images

The White House offered Senate Republicans a $1.7 trillion infrastructure counteroffer, a $550 billion cut from the original proposal, in "the spirit of finding common ground," press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday.

The big picture: The price tag is still billions of dollars more than Republicans' proposal, and a spokesperson for Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), the lead GOP negotiator, said Friday's offer remained "well above the range of what can pass Congress with bipartisan support," per Politico.

Pelosi says it's her "plan" to appoint GOP Rep. Kinzinger to Jan. 6 committee

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday that it is her "plan" to appoint Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) to the House select committee investigating the deadly Jan 6. Capitol riots.

Why it matters: Pelosi's statement to ABC's "This Week" comes after she rejected two of the five Republican appointments offered by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).