Every work day, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre walks into the tiny White House briefing room to make a prepared statement and then take questions from the press corps.
As the 35th official ever to hold the position, she follows a long line of distinguished professionals who did their best to communicate the truth to the American people while balancing White House political interests and maintaining the high ethical standards required of a journalist.
KJP has been serving in her role since May 13, 2022. After overcoming the usual butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling when she broke into her job, she appears at the podium each day full of confidence. Well qualified, with a Master's degree in Public Affairs at Columbia University and later, as a lecturer at that Ivy League institution, she boasts stints at NBC and MSNBC to strengthen her resume. She also has a strong political acumen, arguably from the far left, serving as the national spokesperson for Moveon.org and in senior positions with the Obama and Biden campaigns.
But, the problem is that she lies nearly every day and does so fluently with the authority that comes with standing at that lectern. In corporate America and traditional news organizations, most people would lose their jobs after a few such instances. Not so in the Biden administration, where no one has ever been disciplined or fired. Nearly all exits have been voluntary.
KJP's response to the slowness of the federal government's response to the Maui fires was characteristically exaggerated and blatantly false. On August 30, she said to Fox News' Peter Doocey:
So, if you talk to — if you were to do your reporting and speak to the governor of Hawaii, the senators of Hawaii, the folks on the ground, they would say that the President reacted in record time when it came to dealing with the wildfires; when it came to dealing and making sure that they got everything that they need on the federal level to deal with what was going on, on the ground. Let's not forget that there were more than 600 federal employees on the ground already to assist with the wildfires in Maui.
After watching the disastrous fires and the aftermath in Maui, images carried live on cable news incessantly, even liberal media outlets that have been utterly loyal to Democratic administrations (Hawaii's governor and congressional representation are Democrats) found fault with the official response, such as this report from the Los Angeles Times.
President Biden chose to remain unplugged from the breaking events of the devastating fire, vacationing at a Delaware beach and keeping out of the public eye over an entire weekend when people were jumping into the ocean to survive. On the Sunday evening after the incident, when more than 85 people had died, Biden answered “no comment” when asked about the death count. Worse, Biden visited Lake Tahoe for another vacation and spent five days there before his Maui trip on August 22, 13 days after the wildfires ravaged the western part of the island. Imagine the fit the press would have thrown if former President Donald Trump had done the same thing.
Social media captured people booing the Biden motorcade in Maui. As of August 24, there were 115 confirmed deaths and 388 individuals unaccounted for in one of the state's worst disasters.
On August 31, in response to a question on immigration, KJP said:
This President has done more than previous presidents to secure the U.S. border.
As lies stand, this one should get an award. In January, Fox News reported that U.S. border agents confirmed that 1.2 million illegal migrants "got away" from authorities while crossing the border under President Biden's administration. These are people who are not on any government agency's radar. An additional one million illegal migrants are awaiting asylum processing - and we know that most will never show up for their hearings.
On China, KJP said:
No president has put the United States ... in a stronger position to outcompete China than President Biden.
Again, this assertion is blatantly false. For all the criticisms that Biden heaps on Trump, he has continued most of Trump's tariffs. His $1 trillion energy policy is a massive boon to China because most of the world's solar panels and batteries are made there. America continues to depend on China's manufacturing might.
Earlier, on July 11, KJP tweeted: For all of you wondering, “What is Bidenomics?” 13.2 million jobs created. Unemployment has remained below 4% for the longest stretch since the 1960s. Inflation cut in half. Almost 800k manufacturing jobs were created." She didn't care to clarify that the labor force participation has been at the lowest level in decades and that Bidenflation, a TIPP index we created to calculate inflation from February 2021, the first whole month of the Biden term, is 16.2%.
The White House Press Secretary's position is the most demanding communications role in the world. Every word uttered, expression, and comment not said is parsed by thousands of people each day. It is the closest to official government policy people can get to each day: all they have to do is turn C-SPAN on.
Karine Jean-Pierre has made a mockery of this prestigious office and the very institution that it serves.