White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was never all that good at her job, but her diversity qualifications as the first black and first openly gay press secretary bought a lot of patience from many in the media.
But with President Joe Biden awash in controversy over the discovery of classified documents in a number of locations, including his Delaware home, the honeymoon appears to be over as reporters grow frustrated with KJP for her deflections and obfuscations — somewhat surprisingly, the same media that helped elect Biden in 2020 have taken interest in the story and have a problem with not being able to get answers to their questions.
“It’s very insulting to reporters especially when she repeatedly says she has answered a question when she very clearly has not,” one White House reporter told Fox News Digital.
One such exchange seen on Wednesday reinforces this observation:
Jean-Pierre: "I am going to refer you to the DOJ."
Reporter: "I'm simply asking you to comment on the person you work for."
Jean-Pierre: "I just commented. We're moving on. I already answered your question."
Reporter: "You really didn't."
Jean-Pierre: "That's your opinion." pic.twitter.com/gxqs6rgXpz
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) January 18, 2023
“The White House press corps is incredibly frustrated with Jean-Pierre for refusing to answer any questions about this issue at the briefing room,” the reporter said, before adding, “But overall, it’s clear the White House is challenging the fundamental purpose of the briefing room, which is why reporters continue to be aggressive.”
Fox News White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich referenced a “black hole” that reporters are directed to while seeking answers from the White House, the White House Counsel, and the Justice Department.
“It is frustrating to the press corps here at the White House… we formally asked for the press secretary to bring to the briefing room the attorneys for the president, so that we can ask people these questions, the very people that we’re being directed to and where we’re getting our questions ignored or unanswered or referred elsewhere,” Heinrich told host Neil Cavuto on Wednesday. “And she, again, when posed that question right there in the briefing room today, said well you’ll have to ask them.”
Fox News noted that Jean-Pierre “is causing consternation within the briefing room, and it’s not the first time since she took over the job last May.”
“Press secretaries should advocate for the press and the public to get important updates and help inform their reporting to reflect the truth. She is doing the exact opposite, and it is really hurting her credibility in the position,” the White House reporter told the network.
Another White House reporter told Fox News Digital it felt like the White House Counsel’s Office was sending her “into the lion’s den unprepared.”
“The counsel’s office stonewalls during a single background briefing and takes heat, for what? Thirty minutes of regurgitated non-answers,” the reporter said. “But she has to do her best with what seems like incomplete information.”
CBS’s Weijia Wang spoke of an annoyance among White House reporters after Wednesday’s press briefing, saying Jean-Pierre was “deflecting all questions” and “deferring all questions” to the White House Counsel and the Department of Justice.
“It’s become increasingly clear also, the frustration, as people are trying to get some clarity because they really haven’t answered some of the underlying facts about what has happened here,” Wang said. “This is obviously going to continue, the special counsel’s investigation has not even kicked off in earnest, so if this is the strategy, we’ll see how long it can last.”
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