Fox’s Doocy Triggers WH’s Kirby After Pointing Out Biden’s ‘Don’t’ Plea to Iran FAILED

April 16th, 2024 12:12 PM

With President Biden on the road for the next few days, the White House press corps had to get their hardballs in while they could on Monday. Fox’s Peter Doocy, as always, had the adversarial questions the rest wouldn’t ask. This time, he went around and around with John Kirby over Iran predictably not being intimidated by President Biden’s simple demand to “don’t” fire missiles and drones at Israel.

“John, has President Biden considered maybe beefing up the public Iran posture to be more than just one word,” Doocy began, to which Kirby said amid cross-talk they should “talk about what we did.”



“[H]e said ‘don’t’ and they did it anyway. So, now what,” he asked.

Doocy largely let Kirby drone on for over a minute about how Biden’s “don’t” plea was actually a smashing success (click “expand”):

KIRBY: Let’s talk about “don’t” and did. Let’s talk about Saturday night. He made it clear that he didn’t want to see escalation in the region.

DOOCY: And yet, there was.

KIRBY: Eh, let me finish. He added military resources to the region right after October 7 and then, when we had an inkling that this kind of thing was coming, he added even more military resources to the region, more destroyers that were capable of shooting down ballistic missiles, fighters — fighter squadron that was able to shoot down drones and that’s what we did. So, you can talk about the ‘don’t’ word all you want, but let’s talk about what did happen. And what did happen was Iran utterly failed. And if I’m sitting in Tehran right now, I’m betting that President Biden takes it pretty seriously. When he says, ‘don’t’ escalate, he’s going to act to make sure that you can, and they didn’t. Yes, they fired an unprecedented amount of munitions, but how much of a success that they have, Peter? None. Zero. Very little infrastructure. It was an embarrassing failure for the Supreme Leader for the IRGC.

Doocy then pivoted to the ongoing issue (raised repeatedly, such as here, here, here, here, here, and here by his colleague, Jacqui Heinrich) of the U.S. freezing Iranian assets: “Now that we know that the Iranians do not listen to President Biden’s public warnings, Is there any regret here about unfreezing billions of dollars for Iranian leaders during the President’s administration?”

Kirby played dumb, wondering “what unfreezing are you talking about” and thus lead to more back-and-forth between the two with Kirby admitting he did know what Doocy was referring to and, rest assured, the administration was monitoring the haul to make sure it didn’t end up in the wrong hands (click “expand”):

DOOCY: He unfroze billions of dollars —

KIRBY: For — for Iranian leaders?

DOOCY: Yeah.

KIRBY: Really? No, I don’t think so.

DOOCY: So, you guys say —

KIRBY: So, first of all —

DOOCY: — it’s for humanitarian purposes, but doesn’t that un —

KIRBY: — but you don’t believe me?

DOOCY: — well, doesn’t that free up money for them to spend on other stuff? But where do you get the money for an unprecedented number of munitions to — to fire at Israel?

KIRBY: So, first of all, I’m betting, if they’re sitting in Tehran, they’re taking it seriously when President Biden says he’s going to defend Israel, we put skin in the game — a whole heckuva lot of it, and knocked almost everything out of the sky. So, I’m betting they’re taking it pretty seriously. And, as for this — this unfreezing, that none of that fun [sic] — none of those funds — funds set up in an account, by the way, by the previous administration, goes directly to the Supreme Leader, the IRGC. Can only be used for humanitarian purposes, and we’re watching that account very, very closely to make sure that that’s what happens.

Doocy Time wrapped with a question about why in the world did Biden leave for Delaware then come back to the White House since, in crises past, Biden wouldn’t change plans and the press team would argue Biden “can be the President from anywhere.” 

Kirby didn’t engaged except to claim he came back because “shortly after arriving — we got better, firmer intelligence and information about the — the specific timing of what we expected to be this Iranian attack”.

Surprisingly, the CBS Evening News actually had the stones to air their own correspondent Weijia Jiang’s hardball for Kirby about the Iranians feeling undeterred:

NewsNation’s Kellie Meyer had two excellent questions about why U.S. doesn’t believe Israel should be able to respond to what could have killed untold numbers of Israelis and what specifically is Biden doing to deescalate.

CNN’s Priscilla Alverez represented the left’s worldview on Israel needing to do more to kowtow to Hamas in ceasefire and hostage talks even though, as she admitted Hamas has been the party whose refused to agree to anything

Finally, during the Karine Jean-Pierre portion of the briefing, the Fox Business Network’s Edward Lawrence twice pointed out gas prices are soaring. Despite Jean-Pierre’s assurances we should be fortunate they’re “well below their peak back in 2022” thanks to Biden’s leadership, Lawrence again fact-checked her: “But [gas prices are] only three cents lower than a year ago. It’s up 52 percent from when President Biden came into office. Any — then — talk about changes in policy that — to encourage future investment in oil and gas industry?”

To see the relevant transcript from the April 15 briefing, click here.