White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre lost her cool on Wednesday when a reporter dismantled her reason for stonewalling reporters who ask about President Joe Biden’s improper retention of classified documents.
What is the background?
As the Justice Department was investigating former President Donald Trump for retaining classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, Biden condemned his predecessor in an interview with “60 Minutes.”
Biden said he was shocked that “anyone could be that irresponsible.”
“Totally irresponsible,” Biden said.
What happened with KJP?
The national press is growing increasingly frustrated with the Biden administration for not answering questions about the discovery of classified documents in Biden’s private office and residence. The chief reason cited is the White House does not want to interfere with the Justice Department’s investigation.
That is the exact point that Gray Television correspondent Jon Decker pressed after citing Biden’s “60 Minutes” remarks.
“First of all, do you think it was proper for President Biden to comment on an ongoing DOJ investigation?” he asked.
The question clearly frustrated Jean-Pierre. She refused to answer it and declared, “I’m going to leave it there. Not going to go into it further.”
“I’m simply asking you to comment on the person that you work for — his comments,” Decker responded.
“I just commented,” Jean-Pierre protested.
“Well, it’s not really a comment,” Decker fired back.
The two continued to talk over one another — Jean-Pierre claiming she answered the question, Decker saying that she did not — as Jean-Pierre tried to call on another reporter.
“You gave a non-answer answer,” Decker interjected.
“It’s your opinion. It’s your opinion. That is your opinion,” Jean-Pierre pleaded.
01/18/23: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierreyoutu.be
Later, NBC News correspondent Peter Alexander called out Jean-Pierre for the runaround she has been giving reporters. In fact, the Justice Department has not directed the White House not to speak about the investigation, he said.
“We’ve all reached out to the Department of Justice,” he explained. “A law enforcement official tells NBC News the Justice Department has not told the White House that it cannot talk about the facts underlying the special counsel investigation into declassified documents.”
Fox News reporter Jacqui Heinrich highlighted the same endless circle. She told Jean-Pierre that the White House has orchestrated an “information blackout” in which she refers reporters to the Justice Department or White House counsel and each of those entities refer reporters to each other.
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