Returning to work after a holiday weekend can be brutal for some, but perhaps not nearly as much as it was for White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre Tuesday, left carrying the weight of President Joe Biden’s classified document scandal and her own misleading claims repackaged as “forthcoming.”
Progressives, notorious for manipulating language, should probably know better than to use such a definitive term like “completed” when in the midst of a scandal, but few have ever complimented Jean-Pierre on her finesse behind the podium. As such, even after bringing out guests from the NBA, the onslaught began regarding her claim from last week that all classified documents had been found and her failure to correct that the next day when Special Counsel Richard Sauber had identified more files.
“Thanks, Karine. On Friday, you stood here, though, and were asked about this documents issue, by our count, some 18 times,” ABC’s Cecilia Vega reminded. “At that point, the president’s lawyers had found these five additional pages of classified documents. So, did you not know on Friday that those documents had been found when you were at the podium? Or are you being directed by someone to not be forthcoming on this issue?”
“I have been forthcoming from this podium,” Jean-Pierre tried in one of many attempts to placate reporters. “What I said yes to was what the statement at the time that we all had. Right? You all had the statement. And I was repeating what the–what the counsel was sharing at that time.”
Vega followed up by asking if the press secretary was aware Friday of the additional documents to which she said, “I’m telling you–I just answered the question. I just said that I was repeating what the information that we had at that time–right?–that you all had–I was confirming from what the special counsel had provided to all of you and that we knew as well from here. So just to be very, very clear.”
As previously reported, Sauber issued a statement Saturday announcing he had personally traveled to Wilmington, Delaware Thursday to facilitate the transfer of a classified document to the Justice Department when the additional documents were “discovered.” Therefore, Jean-Pierre had time to prepare some explanation for the disparate timeline which she was already getting called out for.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) January 16, 2023
Instead, she further contended, “And, look, I’ve also been very clear about being prudent from here. I was also being very clear about being consistent from here and not going beyond what is currently happening. Right?”
Vega wasn’t alone in the questioning as CBS’ Weija Jiang later pressed, “On Friday, did you or did you not know about the additional five page?”
“I–I already an- –I literally just answered that question,” Jean-Pierre replied curtly. “You are not too far sitting next to her, so I was very clear.”
CBS's @Weijia Jiang: "On Friday, did you or did you not know about the additional five pages?"
KJP: "I already–I literally just answered that question."
Jiang: "But I missed it, so is it yes or no?"
KJP: "You are not too far sitting next to her, so I was very clear." pic.twitter.com/DAiYw6iW9U
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) January 17, 2023
The reporter didn’t drop the matter as she further called out the press secretary for trying to draw a line of separation between the White House and the DOJ’s investigation when the special counsel is in the employ of the administration.
“You keep telling us, which is how much it is important to this White House to separate the White House from the DOJ’s investigation. But the White House counsel was the one to go and facilitate the documents, to look for the documents,” she pointed out.
To that, Jean-Pierre said, “Again, they have been working very closely with the Department of Justice. I would refer you to them. If you want to know specifically about their actions, specifically about what they’re doing, I would point you to the White House Counsel’s Office.”
CBS’s @Weijia: “It’s related to something…you keep telling us, which is how much it is important…to separate…from the DOJ’s investigation. But the WH counsel was the one to…facilitate the documents, to look for [them]”
KJP: “Again, they have been working very closely” pic.twitter.com/W8geZw0uNW
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) January 17, 2023
“Look, guys,” she contended, “you guys can ask me this 100 times, 200 times, if you wish. I’m going to keep saying the same thing.”
In the end, Jean-Pierre was saved by an aide and claimed “We’re being pulled.” As she walked out, one more question asked, “You told us something six times that turned out to be false. Are you sorry about that?”
“I’ll see you tomorrow. Come talk to me. I’ll see you tomorrow,” she said as she turned and walked away.
Reporter: "You told us, Karine, SIX times [the search for classified documents was complete]. That turned out to be false. Are you sorry about that?"
Jean-Pierre: "I'll see you tomorrow. Come talk to me! I'll see you tomorrow." pic.twitter.com/YsbKgGaLIS
— Washington Free Beacon (@FreeBeacon) January 17, 2023
KJP is cracking !!!!
— MIKE G (@Rooferman6218) January 17, 2023
Sorry. Fresh out of lies for today. My team is working on a fresh batch for tomorrow.
— dcnh (@dcnh42) January 17, 2023
Boy, that voice wasn’t dripping with hatred at all there…
— Todd Versteegh (@TLVersteegh) January 18, 2023
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