In a column I just published this week, I stated in the lede: “To be a White House press secretary, you need to become a great liar.”
And my, talk about instant approval.
As he frequently does, President Joe Biden made a number of shout-outs during his speech on Wednesday at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in Washington, D.C. He specifically mentioned Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN).
The issue: Walorski has passed away. On August 3, she and three other people perished in a head-on collision.
“Jackie, are you here?” Biden yelled during his shout-outs. “How is Jackie doing? She is possibly not here.”
It was obvious that Biden, 79, who frequently experiences confusion, had overlooked Walorski’s passing. However, that didn’t seem to stop the White House from coming up with a ridiculous justification for what Biden had said.
Before we get started, I just want to clarify that everything here is taken directly from the official White House briefing transcript from Wednesday.
“What transpired during today’s hunger event?”
“A journalist questioned Karine Jean-Pierre, Biden’s Press Sec. The President seemed to scan the audience for a Congressman who had passed away a month earlier. He gave the impression that she might be present. What took place there?”
“So, as you are all aware, the President attended today’s event, which was a crucial one on food insecurity. The President praised her outstanding work while identifying the legislative supporters of this cause. He was going to host the congresswoman’s family at the White House on Friday, as he had originally planned. This upcoming Friday, a bill will be signed in her honor.”
The setup is there. This is an outright lie.
“She was naturally on his thoughts, then. The President had her at the top of his mind. When he meets her family this coming Friday, he is very much looking forward to discussing her great legacy of public service with them.”
On your mind? Was it the best a group of White House staff members could do?
The journalist followed up. “Jackie, are you here? he asked. How is Jackie doing? She is possibly not here.”
Not really understanding, Jean-Pierre responded, “No, I perfectly understand. I simply — I just said she was in the forefront of his mind. You see, this wasn’t — what we saw today and what the President was able to highlight at this event at this conference was how her focus was on wanting to get involved with, fight food shortages in America. And he was elevating and celebrating this in particular.”