Towards the end of Wednesday’s White House press briefing, Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich confronted Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre with not one, but two bald-faced recent falsehoods offered up by the Biden administration about the border crisis that Republicans want to cut the number of Border Patrol agents and that Texas officials were responsible for the death of three illegal immigrants in the Rio Grande.
Having caught the National Security Council’s John Kirby as unable to “name a single lawmaker who has called to reduce the number of Border Patrol agents” during the January 4 briefing, Heinrich cut right to the chase with Jean-Pierre: “Why are you repeating this false claim that Republicans voted to reduce the number of Border Patrol agents even though The Washington Post gave the administration three Pinnochioes for that?”
Hilariously, Jean-Pierre immediately doubled down: “So, we don’t believe it’s a false claim. Our statements were very direct here. Last year, House GOP voted — voted — and not only did they vote for it, they touted — they touted their Limit, Save, Grow Act. That’s the act.”
Heinrich stepped in to point out House Republicans insisted their plan to cut government spending “would never — never affect Border Patrol” and “clearly stated at that time that Border Patrol, also veterans benefits, and entitlements would never be impacted”.
But, given the liberal media’s penchant for both covering for the White House’s lies and cosplaying grocery store gossip magazines over the various Trump trials, there was no reason for Jean-Pierre to change her lying ways (click “expand”):
HEINRICH: They were still appropriations for that and they vowed —
JEAN-PIERRE: Well, let me —
HEINRICH: — that it would never —
JEAN-PIERRE: — but they — they limit —
HEINRICH: — never affect Border Patrol.
JEAN-PIERRE: — they — they — they voted for and touted it, right? This is an act. And this would have forced the elimination of 2,000 Border Patrol agents. That’s what this act that they touted, that they voted for in the House. So, that was their proposal. And that was what —
HEINRICH: They clearly —
JEAN-PIERRE: — they voted for back in May.
HEINRICH: — they — they clearly stated at that time that Border Patrol, also veterans benefits, and entitlements would never be impacted by any of the reductions. And, also, the bill never had any appropriations in it.
Heinrich blasted this as “the White House applying White House math to a bill that never had any appropriations” when even drafters of the legislation “vowed that it wouldn’t affect CBP.”
Channeling her colleague Peter Doocy, Heinrich fired off this hardball about Team Biden’s credibility: “[T]o voters, don’t you think they know the difference between, you know, what is a truthful statement and what is spin and is it insulting to them to keep saying it when it was — it’s just not true?”
Jean-Pierre chuckled before asserting “[o]ne thing that the President does not do is insult vote — insult voters or American people to be more exact”. Fact-check: Pants on fire. See here, here, and here for a minuscule sample.
Jean-Pierre stuck to her talking points about the GOP wanting to see and “tout[ing]” their desire to see the “elimination of 2,000 Border Patrol agents”
Heinrich moved to the next Biden border crisis falsehood about Texas, which she noted flies in the face of “saying…the White House, the President doesn’t want to…insult the American people”: “[W]ill the administration then amend its separate statement that implied that Texas officials were responsible for the deaths of three migrants when, in fact, they had nothing to do with it?”
She gave the facts, which were that the three migrants “had already been dead for an hour by the time Mexico told anyone in the U.S. about it and the administration admitted as much in the court filing.”
As a result of this lie, Heinrich footnoted that “a number of outlets were forced to issue corrections and editor’s notes because of that White House statement.”
Restating her thesis that the White House might want to “amend that statement,” Jean-Pierre insisted Heinrich be more “sensitive” since “[t]hree people died” in a “devastating” and “heartbreaking situation.”
Sure enough, since she won’t be held accountable by Heinrich’s colleagues in the room and elsewhere in the press corps, Jean-Pierre did what she did in the first exchange by doubling down with the insinuation circumstances could have changed if it weren’t for law enforcement sent to the border by big meanie Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX).
Thankfully again, Heinrich let Jean-Pierre have a few minutes before she interjected to call out the spin (click “expand”):
JEAN-PIERRE: I want to take a step back and — and just — as you’re talking about our statement — look — as I — as I mentioned, a woman and two children died. They drowned near Eagle Pass, which is, as I said, devastating. And that Texas officials blocked Border Patrol from accessing the area. That’s what was happening at that time. Our statement is consistent with DOJ’s filing. As the DOJ filing said, there was an ongoing emergency situation that Border Patrol was blocked from accessing. There were other migrants in the — in the water as well.
HEINRICH: That’s a separate thing, but the ongoing —
JEAN-PIERRE: But I’m just saying there was —
HEINRICH: — emergency situation was separate.
JEAN-PIERRE: — there was an ongoing —
HEINRICH: And this — the White House statement implied — it says — the White House statement says that Texas official blocked U.S. Border Patrol from attempting to provide emergency assistance.
JEAN-PIERRE: To — there were other — there were other migrants in the water as well.
HEINRICH: Then why wasn’t that included in the statement —
JEAN-PIERRE: There were other migrants in the water as well.
HEINRICH: — that — if that’s what you were referring to?
JEAN-PIERRE: But the — our — our statement does — is very much consistent with DOJ filing. Anything else specific you want to know about that? I would certainly refer you to DOJ.
To see the relevant transcript from the January 17 briefing, click here.