FBN’s Lawrence Battles KJP Over Biden Energy Policies Giving Iran Money to Fund Terror

October 25th, 2023 12:40 PM

Towards the back-end of Tuesday’s White House press briefing, the Fox Business Network’s Edward Lawrence got under the skin of the ever-inept Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre by asking whether President Biden’s energy policies are helping to expand Iran’s oil coffers and thus leaving them with more money to fund terror groups like Hamas.

“So, Iran makes 70 percent of its revenue from oil. It’s doubled that oil output since 2019, adding $40 billion to revenues. So, are the President’s current energy policies giving Iran enough money to fund terror groups,” Lawrence asked.

With an incredulous look on her face, Lawrence noted that the “price of oil has gone up under this President” from an “average price of...$58” under Donald Trump to $83 now and thus gives Iran even more “money to fund these terror groups in the Middle East.”

Jean-Pierre finally responded in disgust: “I wholeheartedly disagree that we’re — we’re — you know, we’re — our actions are giving — is that what you’re saying? Can you say that again?”

Lawrence reiterated the notion that “[t]he current energy policies in the U.S.” have “the price of oil” soaring because, “when you restrict supply here in the United States, it’s forcing to get the global supply from somewhere else” and hence the price increases.

Jean-Pierre deflected by blaming OPEC and citing the U.S. isn’t a member, but Lawrence countered: “[B]ut the administration has decided to regulate the oil industry here in the U.S. and restrict investment — future investment in the oil supply in the U.S. And so, is — is — as the price of oil goes up, is that giving Iran enough money to fund these terror groups?”

The Press Secretary had enough, calling Lawrence’s logic “a big jump” and thus she wouldn’t “speak into that type of hypothetical.”

Over in the Fox News chair, Jacqui Heinrich questioned frequent Jean-Pierre crutch John Kirby if the White House “agree[s] with the U.N. Secretary-General’s statement today that the Hamas attacks, ‘did not happen in a vacuum’” and defended Hamas by arguing “[t]he Palestinian people have been subjected to 56 years of suffocating occupation.”

Speaking of Hamas, Bloomberg’s Justin Sink had a great question about whether “the U.S. believes that Qatar should expel the Hamas leaders that are in the country right now.” Not surprisingly, Kirby declined to comment.

Kirby admitted he didn’t “know what he meant by that” and suggested he and others recognize that Hamas is to blame for the current bloodshed, not the Irsaelis.

There were plenty of questions form the Palestinian side. Nadia Bilbassy Charters of the Saudi Arabia-backed Al Arabiya peddled the far-left claim that Israel’s been using white phosphorous on Gazans and lobbied the U.S. to follow the U.N.’s direction and impress upon Israel to not start a war (even though, again, it was started on October 7 by Hamas killing innocent Israelis).

On the heels of her segment from Monday’s CBS Evening News touting former President Obama’s lengthy statement on the conflict trashing Israel, Nancy Cordes repeatedly questioned Kirby about aspects of the letter and whether President Biden agreed with them.

There was also this interesting exchange with Kirby and the AP’s Seung Min Kim on the credibility of death tolls put out by Hamas and, regardless of that, if the U.S. is concerned the deaths are too “disproportionate” on the Palestinian side. 

Kirby actually gave a superb answer about the nature of war (something the journalism profession ignores in favor of playing morality police) (click “expand”):

SEUNG MIN KIM: So, the Gaza Health Ministry, obviously run by Hamas, said about 700 people were killed in an Israeli airstrike today. First of all, is that a figure that the U.S. government can verify?


KIM: Okay. And —

KIRBY: And I think you was right by you saying that the Ministry of Health is run by Hamas and I think that all needs to be factored into anything that they put out publicly.

KIM: Right, right.  And it — this is sort of related to Nancy’s question, but setting — you know, setting aside whether that 700 figure is correct or not, I’m wondering if the administration is having concerns that the Israeli response has been disproportionate in response to the obviously horrific attack that we’ve seen from Hamas.

KIRBY: We’re going to avoid trying to react to every single event on the battlefield. We all saw last week how quick reactions to events on the battlefield turned out to be inaccurate. So, we’re — for our part, we’re not going to jump to conclusions on every time there’s a report of something. We’re not going to react in real time, certainly, to a conflict to which we are not a part, in terms of being a presence on the ground. All I can do you — all I can do is say what I’ve said before: that we have and will continue to talk to our Israeli counterparts about the importance of avoiding and minimizing civilian casualties and respecting innocent life and trying to prevent collateral damage as they go after legitimate Hamas targets. I said this the other day, and — and I think your question prompts me to say it again, because I think it’s an important notion: This is war. It is combat. It is bloody. It is ugly, and it’s going to be messy and innocent civilians are going to be hurt going forward. I wish I could tell you something different. I wish that that wasn’t going to happen, but it is — it is going to happen and that doesn’t make it right. It doesn’t make it dismissible. It doesn’t mean that we aren’t going to still express concerns about that and — and do everything we can to help the Israelis do everything they can to minimize it, but — but that’s — that’s, unfortunately, the nature of conflict.

And, at the beginning of the briefing, Jean-Pierre offered an embarrassing mea culpa of sorts to make clear she believes anti-Semitism is a problem. However, she naturally still had to have the qualifier about Muslims and Arab Americans facing scorn because, as expected, she had to both-sides the issue.

To see the relevant transcript from the October 25 briefing, click here.