Despite having had almost a week off due to the Summit of the Americas, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s performance and preparation showed zero progress during Monday’s briefing as she fumbled and jumbled her way through questions about everything from the attempted assassination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the baby formula shortage to the economy.
Things grew cringeworthy as Jean-Pierre couldn’t muster a basic question from Fox’s Peter Doocy: “President Biden once bragged about the stock market hitting ‘record after record after record on my watch.’ How about now?” She mumbled about whether Doocy “mean[t] the stock market,” so he further broke it down: “All the gains from President Biden’s time in office have been wiped out.”
Jean-Pierre retreated to prepared answers in her binder, but couldn’t deliver them with any sort of coherence and instead insisted they’re “watching” the stock market “closely” (despite having said back on May 18 that they don’t) and argued “we know families are concerned about inflation and the stock market” caused by “Putin’s price hike.”
“[T]he American people are well positioned to face these challenges because of the economic historic gains that we have made under this President — under this President in the last 16 months,” she added.
Doocy rephrased the question by making it more personal: “So, as you say that Americans are well positioned to weather this stock market decline, what is the President’s message to somebody who might want to retire but their 401(k) is getting wiped out?”
Jean-Pierre continued playing her game of random word generator by stating what “we get that” Americans are struggling and the administration’s “doing everything that we can to make sure that the economy is working for every — American people.” Oof.
Amid her claims that up the bloated American Rescue Plan “led to...this historic economic boom that we’re seeing with jobs,” Doocy interjected: “Didn’t it also lead to historic inflation?”
Still relying on her notes, Jean-Pierre said it’s “not how we’re seeing the American Rescue Plan.”
Later on in the briefing, Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann did what the liberal media have failed to do, which is mention the rise in attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers ahead of a Supreme Court decision that could overturn Roe v. Wade.
Jean-Pierre more or less punted the topic to the Department of Justice other than to say the President backs security for judges and that he’s condemned the attack on Kavanaugh (which he himself hasn’t done on camera) (click “expand”):
WEGMANN: Thank you, Karine. Over the weekend, a crisis pregnancy center in Oregon was firebombed. That’s the fourth one so far and then, last weekend, of course, a would-be assassin was arrested outside the home of Justice Kavanaugh. I know that the administration condemns violence and you’ve said as much several times previously, but I’m wondering: Is there anything that the President is doing to cool passions before the Dobbs decision drops?
JEAN-PIERRE: You mean in — with — as it relates to abor- — the decision? So, I want it to be really clear: You know, the Department of Justice, as it relates to Kavanaugh, has U.S. Marshals providing support to the Supreme Court Marshal and the President supports legislation to fund increased security for court and judges and it is how — it has now been reported that the marshals our administration assigned to help protect judges were instrumental in the person not accomplishing the horrible deed that he set out to do. This is the threat that we saw against Kavanaugh and so, we have taken this very seriously. Like you said, we have condemned — condemned it. The President has, and we will continue to do so. Any int- — intimidation or threats against judges is something that we take very seriously and so, you know, one of the reasons — again, one of the reasons the — the act did not happen last week was because the Department of — DOJ took that very seriously from the beginning when we were — when we were hearing the threats and the intimidation and put U.S. Marshals there.
WEGMANN: And then, with regard to some of the arson that we’ve been seeing around the country?
JEAN-PIERRE: Well, that’s something, clearly, the DOJ is looking into and, you know, they’ve taken that very seriously. We have seen an uptick of that type of arson and bombing and — or attempt to bomb, as we saw just recently over the weekend and so, again, that’s for — DOJ is taking that very seriously, and they’re going to continue to do so.
In light of her predecessor’s waffling (see here, here, and here) on protesters outside a judge’s home whenever they want them to rule a certain way, Wegmann wanted to know how Jean-Pierre would answer: “But does the President believe that there should be any type of protesters picketing outside of judges’ homes when there’s a case pending before them?”
Jean-Pierre replied that while “intimidation and violence are totally unacceptable,” “all Americans have the right to peacefully protest, whatever their point of view.”
In other words, the White House said, keep it up, Ruth Sent Us!
Towards the very end of the briefing, a reporter in the Bloomberg government seat asked for “the latest update” on the baby formula shortage, but Jean-Pierre embarrassingly had nothing to add other than flipping through her binder before saying she didn’t “have anything new” (which the press team took hours to eventually produce).
To see more from June 13's briefing (including questions about Biden’s porous poll numbers and the economy), click here.