After yesterday’s incredibly short White House press gaggle where Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre used all of her time to talk about White House garden tours, today’s was even shorter at just seven minutes. This seemed to irritate reporters right off the bat, though the White House does not have audio so we are relying solely on the transcript today.
Here is how it starts:
Aboard Air Force One
En Route Hagerstown, Maryland
12:07 P.M. EDT
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Hi, guys. So this is going to be an incredibly short gaggle.
Q Is it okay if we just start with questions?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: No, I actually have stuff at the top that I need to share.
She then spent the next several minutes campaigning for Biden and the Democrats, including gaslighting about the strength of the economy, “Today’s unemployment rate matches its lowest level in 50 years at 3.5 percent. This kind of job growth is consistent with a low unemployment rate and a healthy economy.”
She rambled on about “National Manufacturing Day,” which the former Vice President proclaimed yesterday:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 7, 2022, as National Manufacturing Day. I encourage all Americans to look for ways to get involved in your community and join me in participating in National Manufacturing Day, and, most importantly, buy American.
Rambling on about Republicans being bad and Democrats being good when she began to preview the week ahead, reporters appear – from the transcript – to have gotten impatient.
Q Karine, can you just email that to us?
Q I think there’s a lot that we need to get to, and we’re about to land.
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I know, but I need to do this because I was asked, and I — and I’m keeping my promise here. I was asked last week, and I’m keeping my promise. On Wednesday, the President will travel out West, starting in Colorado. On Thursday and Friday, he will have events in California and Oregon…” and she went back to her campaign messaging before opening for a few questions.
Can We Talk About the Nuclear War Now?
The reporter’s frustration (assuming) is understandable as there is much to discuss.
At a Democrat fundraiser Thursday night, the alleged Commander-in-Chief of the United States of America said, “We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis.”
This comes as former comedian and current Ukrainian President Voldomor(t) Zelenskyy is calling on the US to preemptively attack Russia. Given the precarious geopolitical environment, even leftist reporters cannot ignore this deeply irresponsible and reckless rhetoric.
Q Did the President plan to use the word “Armageddon”? Why did he choose that particular reference to Revelation 16:16?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Okay, so Russia’s talk of using nuclear weapons is irresponsible. And there’s no way to use — to use them without unintended consequences. It cannot happen.
We want — we won’t be intimidated by Putin’s rhetoric. We have not seen any reason to adjust our own nuclear posture, nor do we have indications they are preparing to use them. But Putin can de-escalate this at any time, and there is no reason to escalate.
Q Why were those comments made for the first time in front of a group of donors rather than a press conference or more public type of forum?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So, the President’s comments have been very consistent. He was reinforcing what we have been saying, which is how seriously we have ta- — we take these threats about nuclear weapons, as we have done when the Russians have made these threats throughout the conflict. So the kind of irresponsible rhetoric we have seen is no way for the leader of a nuclear-armed state to speak. And that’s what the President was making very clear about.
The President was “making very clear” about Putin’s irresponsible rhetoric by talking about Armageddon and the Cuban Missile Crisis at a Democrat fundraiser.
She then fumbled around (very clearly) to tell reporters that there is no new intel that drove these comments:
Q So there’s no imminent threat? I mean, there’s no —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: No. We — there is — there is no — there is no — we — as I said before, we have not seen any reason to adjust our own strategic nuclear posture, nor do we have indications that Russia is preparing to imminently use nuclear weapons.
She dodged a few more questions about Biden’s comms with Putin, then this:
I’ll say one more thing: You know, Russia’s nuclear rhetoric has been reckless and irresponsible. But if the Cuban Missile Crisis has taught us anything, it is the value of reducing nuclear risk and not brandishing it.
Holy Bananas! She doubled down on Biden’s comments. It’s devastating that there is no video or audio so we can deduce if this was a prepared remark or if she was off the cuff again. Will keep searching for the media.
After a stupid exchange about climate change executive orders yielded nothing material, the next reporter moved in – but was just a little too late to get any follow ups:
Q The Washington Post, yesterday, had details of the investigation into Hunter Biden. Is the President worried about these leaks suggesting there may be enough evidence to charge him on a number of counts? And does he still stand by his comments that Hunter has done nothing wrong?
AIR FORCE ONE CREW MEMBER: (Inaudible) grab a seat so we can land.
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Yeah. Okay. So, really quickly, as — as you know, this is an ongoing investigation being handled independently by the Department of Justice. So I would refer you to the Department of Justice.
12:14 P.M. EDT
That’s where the transcript ends. Note that the line of questioning was about whether or not Biden stands by his earlier statements about his son. KJP referred the reporter to the Department of Justice.
Like All Biden Admin Trends, This One is Disappointing
As I said at the top, today’s press briefing was just seven minutes long, and KJP spent most of it repeating Biden administration/campaign talking points rather than answering the questions of the reporters and, by extension at least in theory, their audiences, the People.
This is becoming a trend, as reporters appear to be strengthening their spines and asking tougher-than-before questions. We will see if it continues next week.
During the seven minute gaggle, KJP did not mention Biden’s many proclamations today:
Of all the proclamations, this one was my favorite:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 9 through October 15, 2022, as National School Lunch Week. I call upon all Americans to recognize and commemorate all those who operate the National School Lunch Program with activities that raise awareness of the steadfast efforts in supporting the health and well-being of our Nation’s children.
Pour one out for Chris Farley:
Happy Weekend, y’all!
This article has been updated to correct a mistaken reference to State Department instead of Department of Justice.