Does She Even Try? KJP Plays Clueless to Reporters on Questions About WH Cocaine

July 6th, 2023 11:59 AM

Whether it’s the Biden documents scandal, allegations of Biden family corruption, or the latest twist in Hunter Biden’s life of ruin to name a few, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has consistently stuck to the theme of playing dumb when faced with even gentle questions from the liberal White House press corps. Such was the case Wednesday concerning the bag of cocaine found in the West Wing.

In the case of the pedestrian, the AP’s Josh Boak had the first question on it: “[P]er the intrigue over the holiday: Can you give any more details on where the Secret Service found cocaine in the West Wing and how it got there?”



This time, Jean-Pierre said “this is under the purview of the Secret Service” except to reiterate President Biden and his “family were not here this weekend” as well as the excuse that “this was discovered is a heavily traveled area where many...West Wing visitors come through.”

Reuters’s Steve Holland followed up to no avail, “Has the President said, ‘Hey, let’s get to the bottom of what happened here’ with the cocaine?”

Jean-Pierre didn’t budge, kicking the can to the Secret Service.

ABC’s Rachel Scott asked two follow-ups with the second invoking the tourist excuse: “[J]ust a quick follow on this type of tour. Can you explain to the American people who would have access to the West Wing on this type of tour and what kind of protocols are in place?”

CBS’s Weijia Jiang was far more pointed: “I wonder if the cocaine episode has prompted the White House to ask the Secret Service to review its security protocol for visitors coming in?”

Jean-Pierre stuck to her canned answer about letting Secret Service “do their investigation,” so Jiang pressed with an excellent question that went nowhere: “Maybe this episode kind of shines a light on the fact that you can bring in illegal substances into the White House, so what’s preventing a visitor from bringing in anthrax or something that’s not magnetic into the White House?”

CNN’s Jeremy Diamond was all-in on the tourist line (click “expand”):

DIAMOND: Can you just tell us how the White House is assisting the Secret Service with this investigation? Have you made any White House officials available for interviews with law enforcement, for example?

JEAN-PIERRE: Look — look, we’re not assisting in anything.  This is under the Secret     Service purview. This is their — their, kind of, guidance and guideline, their — their world...[T]hey’re going to investigate and get to the bottom of what happened this weekend and we appreciate that. 

DIAMOND: And you noted that this is an area where visitors on tour groups often pass by. So, is that the working theory right now: that it was likely a visitor? And are you confident that this was not a White House staffer?

JEAN-PIERRE: There is an investigation. They’re going to get to the bottom of this. What I wanted to be very clear is that this is a heavily — heavily traf — heavily traveled, to be more accurate, area of the campus of the White House and — and it is where visitors fr- — to the West Wing come through. This is the part where they come through, when it comes to coming through the West Wing...I believe the Secret Service is also sharing this as well.

Usually a Biden sycophant in his stories, The Washington Post’s Tyler Pager sometimes offers real questions, like this one:

Are there concerns that an illicit substance was brought into the White House and not detected by security? Obviously, every guest that — that enters the White House goes through airport-like security. I’m wondering if — just generally, if there’s concerns about the ability for someone to bring it in.

Of course, Jean-Pierre declined to comment because we should “let the — the Secret Service do their investigation.”

Jean-Pierre said she wouldn’t “get into hypotheticals” when pressed by USA Today’s Joey Garrison: “If the Secret Service determines the — who brought the cocaine into the White House, does the White House support the prosecution of this individual?”

After The New York Times’s Katie Rogers wondered what Biden would think of never finding the owner of said cocaine and if Jean-Pierre could explain White House visitor protocols (and before lame questions from NBC’s Mike Memoli), CBS News Radio’s Steven Portnoy had the exchange of the briefing with this firm grilling (click “expand”):

PORTNOY: Karine, can you just clarify for us where exactly inside the West Wing the substance was discovered?

JEAN-PIERRE: I’m not going to get into specifics. All I can say is: When people visit the West Wing, there is an ar — there is the area of the West Wing where it is highly traveled and that is what happens: People come through this particular area.  It’s highly traveled. I’m just not going to get into specifics. I’m not going to get into — I’m not going to get ahead of the Secret Service and so, I’ll let them speak to that. 

PORTNOY: There are a couple of primary entrances into the West Wing. There’s the one         with which we’re all familiar, right outside of the driveway where the Marine stands when the President is in — in the West Wing and there’s another entrance off West Executive Avenue. Can you explain which — which entrance we’re talking about?

JEAN-PIERRE: I’m going to let the Secret Service speak to that.

PORTNOY: Okay. Can you explain why you can’t explain it? I mean, you’ve described it as a heavily traveled area. 

JEAN-PIERRE: That’s what the Secret — I’m just saying what the Secret Service said. We got this from the Secret Service, so I’m sharing a little bit more with you from here. But, again, it’s under their purview. It’s under investigation. They will — they will have more specifics down the road as they are looking into this. We are confident that they will get to the bottom of this and so, I’m just going to leave it to them. 

PORTNOY: The substance was discovered late on Sunday. What’s the latest staff-led tours that happen in the West Wing on a Sunday?

JEAN-PIERRE: You know, I don’t have the specific on how late the t — the staff tours — staff-led tours go, but I can tell you that there was one on Friday, there was one on Saturday, there was on one on Sunday. The times that there are not any West Wing tours is when there is a federal holiday, like yesterday, or a big White House — a large White House event. I just don’t have the specifics. Let’s — let’s let the Secret Service get to the bottom of this. They’ll have more — hopefully more information and we have confident [sic] that they will be able to figure this all out. So, going to give them the space to do that. 

The Wall Street Journal’s Catherine Lucey had another hardball: “[W]ill any White House staffers be undergoing drug testing as part of this investigation?”

Jean-Pierre said she wouldn’t “get into hypotheticals,” but did just that in stating “we will take any action” if the bag were tied to a White House staffer because they’re “subject to rigorous guidelines that include drug testing.”

Lucey was the only reporter to ask about Hunter Biden’s love child, triggering a maddeningly cold and disgusting answer from Jean-Pierre:

LUCEY: There was a story in The New York Times over the weekend about Hunter Biden’s daughter in Arkansas. Does the President acknowledge this little girl as his granddaughter?

JEAN-PIERRE: I don’t have anything to share from here.

A few minutes after McClatchy’s Michael Wilner expressed befuddlement at how expressing concern was getting ahead of a Secret Service probe, Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich brought up the rear: “How determined is the President to get to the bottom of who brought illegal drugs into the White House?”

Jean-Pierre dodged one last time, saying “[t]he Secret Service is getting to the bottom” and therefore Biden is too.

To see the relevant transcript from the July 5 briefing (including questions from ABC’s Karen Travers about East Palestine and Politico’s Adam Cancryn about the U.S. District Court ruling on social media censorship), click here.