President Joe Biden has invited the so-called Tennessee Three to the White House, but he is not inviting the families of the victims of the Covenant School massacre.
At the White House press briefing on Wednesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced that Biden has invited Tennessee Democratic state Reps. Justin Jones, Justin Pearson, and Gloria Johnson to the White House. They will visit next Monday.
Earlier this month, the president spoke to them by phone after they were subjugated to expulsion votes in the Tennessee state House for peacefully protesting in support of stronger gun safety laws following the shooting at Covenant School in Nashville. During that call, the president thanked them for their leadership in seeking to ban assault weapons and standing up for the democratic values.
When it was his turn to ask a question, Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy wanted to know: What about the families of the victims of the massacre?
“On Monday, you’re going to have three of the lawmakers who protested—” he began before Jean-Pierre interrupted.
“Peacefully protested,” she interjected.
“Who peacefully protested after the Nashville Covenant School shooting,” Doocy continued. “Have any of the victims or their families been invited to the White House?”
“I don’t have anything to read out to you about any invite,” the press secretary responded.
“Why?” Doocy pressed.
Jean-Pierre, however, could not provide an answer. Instead, she vaguely explained how Biden is “focused on getting things done” and plans to use his “bully pulpit” to continue pushing his agenda, which includes banning so-called assault weapons. Hosting the lawmakers at the White House, Jean-Pierre said, is about fostering a conversation to that end.
Despite being expelled from the Tennessee state House, both Pearson and Jones have since been reinstated by their districts.
Jones made headlines on Monday when he carried a baby-sized casket through the halls of the Tennessee Capitol to make a statement about gun violence and the need for more gun control.
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