Karine Jean-Pierre, White House press secretary, engaged in a heated discussion with journalists on Friday, after she tried to avoid answering questions about former President Donald Trump.
During Agence France Presse’s last press conference, Sebastian Smith asked Jean Pierre why she couldn’t answer a question relating to President Joe Biden’s current thoughts on Trump.
Shear corrected Smith after she explained that she couldn’t answer the question. The room erupted in laughter.
She promised to never mention Trump’s presidential campaign in 2024 from the podium at the briefing room.
Smith asked Jean-Pierre about her boss’ perspective.
“It’s not 2024, not a Hatch Act-type question, let’s put it that way,” Smith began, eliciting laughter from Jean-Pierre, who interjected, “That’s what you think.”
He continued, “But Donald Trump is at this moment the clear frontrunner for the Republican Party.” “He wants to be president and he’s the front-runner of his party. Biden called him a danger to the nation and said that his movement was a threat to democracy.
After the initial setup, he asked:
The press secretary politely declined to answer the questions, saying it was about “a candidate for 2024” and “she won’t talk about it.”
Jean-Pierre went on to say, “What I can speak about is how the president focuses his attention on the American people and the results that he produces for the American population. ” She claimed that McCarthy and the MAGA wing, whom she says are “holding hostage” the American economy, were “what we recognize as a danger.”
“I’m happy to answer any other questions you may have.”
Jean-Pierre contacted Shear and asked, “Why did you speak to me about President Trump before?” “Did you violate the Hatch Act in doing so?”
“Absolutely not,” she responded. She added, “President Trump, we were talking about what he did in the last administration. We were talking about policies that were harmful in the past administration.”
The press secretary then tried to repeat Smith’s question by asking Shear, “He asked me whether the president believes Donald Trump would be an existential danger if he were elected, right?” “Because Donald Trump is running for office?” ”
Shear corrected her and laughed: “No, no, no, he didn’t ask that. Smith replied, “Can you repeat what I just said?” The other reporters started to laugh about the convoluted conversation.
Smith said, “I also asked, Does President Biden follow Donald Trump’s words and actions?
Jean-Pierre cut him off, saying, “Yes! As a candidate! Right? As a candidate.” She then held up her hand to quell Smith’s subsequent questions, saying, “I’m not talking about 2024.”
Shear, exasperated, asked: “2024? Donald Trump has been running for re-election for about a year now, and you’ve talked a lot about him!
The official clarified that she was simply talking about Trump’s “policies when he was president. That’s what I talked about.”
She concluded, “I’ve not talked about him as a candidate and I’m not going to do that from here. I’m just not.”