HE WENT THERE: Doocy Torches KJP Over Tweets Saying 2016, 2018 Elections Were Stolen

Political News

Fox News’s Peter Doocy opened the short week with a bang during Tuesday’s White House press briefing as, after four months of silence from the entire press corps, he cornered Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre over her past tweets falsely claiming the 2016 presidential and 2018 Georgia gubernatorial elections were stolen by Republicans.

With much of the political discourse still fixated on the 2020 election results, it was pertinent for each and every reporter from the AP seat to those in the back corners, but those from the left to the right skimped. And, as Stephen L. Miller wrote, it’s an abject failure that it hadn’t come up.

Doocy took his turn by, as usual, asking a basic question with underlying motivations: “A follow up about that MAGA Republican attention. So, we’re all in agreement that it is incorrect to say the 2020 election was stolen, what about the 2016 election?”

Jean-Pierre walked right into the trap by insisting she wasn’t “going to go back to where we were or what happened in 2016” and would instead “focus on the here and now we’re going to focus on what’s happening today — this inflection point that the President pointed out very clearly, very decisively, and in a few speeches about what the country needs to do…to bring the country together.”

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Having been caught, Doocy explained he was “just in trying to understand the new attention on the MAGA Republicans” given her past tweets, but Jean-Pierre interjected to wonder why he hadn’t asked this yet:

JEAN-PIERRE: Oh, I knew this was coming. I was waiting, Peter, when you were going to ask me that.

DOOCY: — well, great. Here we go. You tweeted, Trump stole an election. You tweeted Brian Kemp stole an election. If denying election results is extreme now —

JEAN-PIERRE: Yep.

DOOCY: — why wasn’t it then?

Despite having allegedly spent months anticipating this question, Jean-Pierre’s answer landed with a thud. First, she claimed “that comparison that you made is just ridiculous,” leaving Doocy in a predictably exasperated state and wondering why.

Jean-Pierre argued she was allowed to say elections were stolen (even though “Kemp won the election in Georgia” and “Trump won the election of 2016”) because she “was talking specifically at that time of what was happening with voting rights and the — what was in danger of voting rights.”

Unsurprisingly, Jean-Pierre further defended questioning election results because at least her side didn’t storm the Capitol in “an attack on our democracy” like on January 6

“That’s what the President has called out and that’s what he’s going to continue to called [sic] out. So, yes, when you have MAGA Republicans — an extreme part of Republicans who — who just deny or do not want to really say what exactly happened on that day,” she added.

Later in the briefing, Todd Gillman of the Dallas Morning News wondered if Jean-Pierre would be interested in taking up Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) on his offer to visit the southern border seeing as how she claimed on August 29 that illegal immigrants don’t simply walk across the border (click “expand”):

GILLMAN: I wanted to ask you about the — the question about migrants and whether they have or haven’t been walking across the southwest border. Senator Ted Cruz has publicly invited, suggested that you come down to see that for yourself?…He — he’s suggested that you come down and see for yourself whether migrants are actually crossing the border. Is that something you’ll take him up on?

JEAN-PIERRE: I’ve been to the border. I went in 2018. I stood outside facilities where the Trump Administration was separating families, tearing babies out of their mother’s arms. Some of those kids still haven’t been reunited with their families and so, one thing I will say is I certainly don’t need lectures or invitations from Republicans about the border or border policies and you know, and I certainly won’t take advice on border from — from anyone who voted against securing record level of funding for the Department of Homeland Security and — and, you know — and while folks are sending invites I’ll use this opportunity to invite him or anyone else next time to vote for record funding for DHS, as President Biden has — has requested.

Gillman followed up by seeing if the White House had any comment on the mass drowning of illegals near Eagle Pass, Texas. Of course, Jean-Pierre couldn’t help herself by making it seem political and blaming Trump for “work that was not done” in “secur[ing] the border” over “the past several years.”

To see the relevant transcript from September 6’s briefing, click “expand.”

White House press briefing
September 6, 2022
12:51 p.m. Eastern

PETER DOOCY: A follow up about that MAGA Republican attention. So, we’re all in agreement that it is incorrect to say the 2020 election was stolen, what about the 2016 election? 

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: Look, I’m not going to go back to where we were or what happened in 2016. I — We’re going to focus on the here and now we’re going to focus on what’s happening today — this inflection point that the President pointed out very clearly, very decisively, and in a few speeches about what the country needs to do at this time to bring the country together and he believes that’s where majority of Americans are when it comes to protecting our democracy, when it comes to protecting our rights and when it comes to protecting our freedoms. That’s what we’re going to talk about. That’s what we’re going to focus on — on where we are at today. 

DOOCY: But just in trying to understand the new attention on the MAGA Republicans, you tweeted in 2016 —

JEAN-PIERRE: Oh, I knew this was coming.

DOOCY: — Trump stole an election.

JEAN-PIERRE: I was waiting, Peter, when you were going to ask me that.

DOOCY: — well, great. Here we go. You tweeted, Trump stole an election. You tweeted Brian Kemp stole an election. If denying election results is extreme now — 

JEAN-PIERRE: Yep.

DOOCY: — why wasn’t it then?

JEAN-PIERRE: So, let’s be really clear. That — that comparison that you made is just ridiculous. I have been — 

DOOCY: How is that ridiculous?

JEAN-PIERRE: — I have been — well, you’re asking me — you’re asking me a question. Let answer it.

DOOCY: And you said it’s ridiculous.

JEAN-PIERRE: I was — I was talking specifically at that time of what was happening with voting rights and the — what was in danger of voting rights. That’s what I was speaking to at the time and here’s the thing. I have said, Governor Kemp won the election in Georgia. I’ve been clear about that. I have said President Trump won the election of 2016 and I’ve been clear about that. What we are talking about right now is — let’s not forget what happened on January 6, 2021 We saw an insurrection, a mob that was incited by the person who occupied this campus, this facility at that time, and it was an attack on our democracy. Let’s not forget people died that day. Law enforcement were attacked that day. That was the danger that we were seeing at the time. That’s what the President has called out and that’s what he’s going to continue to called [sic] out. So, yes, when you have MAGA Republicans — an extreme part of Republicans who — who just deny or do not want to really say what exactly happened on that day, or say, it was a protest when it clearly was not a peaceful protest. That’s not what we saw on that day. Yes, the President is going to call that out and here’s the thing. Majority of Americans agree with him. Majority of Americans agree with this President on protecting our democracy, protecting our freedom, and protecting our rights. That’s what we’re talking about today and that’s what the President’s going to focus on.

(….)

12:56:29 p.m.
2 minutes and 14 seconds

TODD GILLMAN: I wanted to ask you about the — the question about migrants and whether they have or haven’t been walking across the southwest border. Senator Ted Cruz has publicly invited, suggested that you come down to see that for yourself?

JEAN-PIERRE: Who?

GILLMAN: Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. He — he’s suggested that you come down and see for yourself whether migrants are actually crossing the border. Is that something you’ll take him up on?

JEAN-PIERRE: I’ve been to the border. I went in 2018. I stood outside facilities where the Trump administration was separating families, tearing babies out of their mother’s arms. Some of those kids still haven’t been reunited with their families and so, one thing I will say is I certainly don’t need lectures or invitations from Republicans about the border or border policies and you know, and I certainly won’t take advice on border from — from anyone who voted against securing record level of funding for the Department of Homeland Security and — and, you know — and while folks are sending invites I’ll use this opportunity to invite him or anyone else next time to vote for record funding for DHS, as President Biden has — has requested, so we’ll move on. Nope, we’re gonna move on from that. 

GILLMAN: One question on the migrants who drowned last week near Eagle Pass. What is the administration doing to avert those kind of tragedies?

JEAN-PIERRE: So, that is a tragic — that — that is tragic when we hear news like that. Our — our hearts go out to the families, certainly and — and that is what we try to work very hard to do to secure the border and make sure that we don’t see those types of those — those tragedies and the heartbreaks. So, I know the Department of Homeland Security is working very hard on to continuing to secure our border, to do work that was not done in the past several years and so, we’re going to we’re to focus on that.

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