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Photo: Oliver Contreras/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House distanced itself from a proposal endorsed by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) that calls for closing federal prisons.

  • "The president does not support abolishing prisons," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said at a Tuesday briefing.

Why it matters: Psaki's remarks come amid a broader discussion on prison reform and after Tlaib was challenged on her stance by Axios' Jonathan Swan in an "Axios on HBO" interview.

  • "[E]veryone's like, 'Oh my God, we're going to just release everybody.' That's not — ," Tlaib said in the interview, which aired Sunday.
  • Swan interjected that the BREATHE Act "actually says: Release everyone" from federal prisons over 10 years.

In the "Axios on HBO" interview, Swan asked to what extent Tlaib has wrestled with potential downsides to the reforms:

  • Tlaib: "But did you see how many people are mentally ill that are in prison right now?"
  • Swan: "But there are, like, human traffickers."
  • Tlaib: "Oh, I know. ... Look at who's in prison now ... folks that are mentally ill, that have substance-abuse problems ... And obviously there's a process of looking at how can we get away from mass incarceration, and move towards care first."

On Tuesday, Psaki reiterated that Biden does not support defunding the police, adding that "he would not support legislation that includes it."

  • "He thinks measures like that will make us less safe," she added.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Myanmar's deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi sentenced to 4 years in prison

An anti-coup protest in Yangon, Myanmar.Photo: Hkun Lat/Getty Images

A Myanmar court sentenced the country's ousted leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, on Monday to four years in prison on charges of "inciting public unrest" and breaking COVID-19 protocols, per the New York Times.

Why it matters: It's the first of several verdicts that could result in the 76-year-old Nobel laureate being imprisoned for the rest of her life. The 11 charges she faces have been widely criticised as politically motivated.

5 hours ago - World

Pope Francis denounces European governments' migrant response

Pope Francis adresses refugees at the Reception and Identification Centre (RIC) in Mytilene on the island of Lesbos on Sunday. Photo: Louisa Gouliamaki/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis criticized European countries' response to migrants and asylum seekers during his visit to a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos Sunday.

Why it matters: The pope said "migration is a humanitarian crisis that concerns everyone," but little had changed in the global response to displaced peoples since his first visit to Lesbos five years ago, per a transcript of his remarks. "Human lives, real people, are at stake. ... let us stop this shipwreck of civilization!"

Chris Cuomo accuser: On-air "hypocrisy" spurred report

Journalist Chris Cuomo. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

A woman who accused fired CNN journalist Chris Cuomo of sexual misconduct said Sunday she decided to come forward after learning of his comments about women who made similar accusations about his brother. He denies her allegations.

Why it matters: Her attorney Debra Katz said in a statement that she heard "the hypocrisy" of his on-air words about his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and was "disgusted by his efforts to try to discredit these women," so "retained counsel to report his serious sexual misconduct against her to CNN."