White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had a chance to clear up the cloud of suspicion that surrounds her boss and his family with a simple, one-word answer familiar to every American above the age of 2.
Instead, she tried to be clever — and made things worse.
The moment came during a White House news briefing Tuesday, when Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked Jean-Pierre a damning, point-blank question about House Republicans’ plans to investigate whether President Joe Biden has lied about his knowledge of his son Hunter’s business dealings in years past.
DOOCY: “The House Oversight Committee is laying out their new investigations and they claim to have evidence that Joe Biden lied to the American people about his involvement in his family’s business schemes. Did he?” pic.twitter.com/mmRWlpST6c
Republicans on the House Oversight Committee, Doocy said, “claim to have evidence that Joe Biden lied to the American people about his involvement in his family’s business schemes.”
There are no tricks there. Doocy didn’t mention any of the well-documented evidence that the president knew more about Hunter’s business dealings than he claims. (That evidence includes a recording in Joe Biden’s own voice that appears to put the lie to everything else he’s said about Hunter.)
But Jean-Pierre’s “answer” made it clear she couldn’t actually answer at all.
She launched what amounted to a lengthy non sequitur aimed at blaming Republicans for getting tied up in silly issues like whether the president of the United States is a lying grifter, whose own actions raise the possibility he’s been compromised by communists in charge of the People’s Republic of China, his country’s most formidable global rival at the moment.
“So, look, I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. House Republicans promised that fighting inflation during the midterms was going to be their No. 1 priority,” she said.
“That’s what they said was important to them, and that’s what they wanted to do. But instead, what they’re doing is wanting to do an investigation on the president and his family. That is their focus. They don’t want to focus on the American people and their families, they want to focus on political division.
“They want to focus on something that the American people do not want to see, as we saw in the midterm elections.”
With the smokescreen in place, she went to pure evasion:
“Look, I’m not going to get into, you know, get into the specifics of any of the oversight here. We have a White House counsel that’s going to, my colleagues, who are going to deal with this. I will point you to them.”
So, the Biden White House is confronted with a basic question striking at the heart of its honesty and the best answer it can come up with is, “those other guys are awful … And talk to my lawyer.”
It was transparent. It was amateurish. And it was utterly ineffective.
This isn’t the first time Doocy had wrangled with Jean-Pierre, of course. As a representative of one of the few news organizations in the U.S. that hasn’t pimped itself as a propaganda arm for the president and the Democratic Party, he’s already established as a force in the Washington press corps.
This exchange from November is a good example.
But Tuesday’s was worse if only for Doocy’s simplicity and Jean-Pierre’s obvious deception.
What’s worse for Jean-Pierre was that her attempt to dodge the question with an attack on Republicans was not only transparent, it was dead wrong. Far from being unconcerned with the Biden family affairs, a solid, 60-percent majority of engaged Americans support an investigation, according to a Rasmussen poll in late November.
Considering the size of the majority, and the timing of the poll — well after the midterm elections — it’s safe to say Jean-Pierre’s claims that Americans aren’t interested, or that the matter had been settled by the midterms, are even more nonsensical than most of the deceitful blather she puts out from the briefing room podium.
Any American paying attention — even liberals — knows the Biden presidential campaign was assisted by the giants of the establisment media, Big Tech and even the FBI in suppressing the story of the Hunter Biden laptop and its evidence of corruption in the Biden family (very much including “the big guy” and his cut.) Thanks to Twitter owner Elon Musk and the “Twitter Files,” among other revelations, that’s not even a question anymore.
And every American should be paying attention as the House Republican majority — as soon as it can get its act together and elect a speaker — takes a close look at the Biden crime family and how it got to be in the most powerful office in the world.
All Katrine Jean-Pierre had to do was say “no,” on Tuesday.
When she couldn’t do that, it was clear that the answer was “yes.”