In a classic display of the White House’s refusal to address any negative questions, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre once again dodged and deflected during a media briefing. This time, it was Fox News correspondent Mark Meredith who found himself on the receiving end of Jean-Pierre’s evasive tactics. Meredith had asked if the White House had considered bringing in Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser to discuss the city’s rising crime rates. A seemingly harmless and relevant question, considering Bowser had just declared a public emergency in response to the city’s rampant youth violence and opioid crisis.
But Jean-Pierre wasn’t having it. She responded with a vague and meandering non-answer, emphasizing President Biden’s supposed engagement with mayors across the country and quickly shifting blame onto Republicans for not taking the issue seriously. She referenced the billions of dollars that Biden has poured into his “American Rescue Plan” and his “Safer America Plan,” but failed to explain why D.C. was now declaring a public emergency if these measures were truly effective.
When Meredith attempted to ask another question about the American Rescue Plan, Jean-Pierre shut him down, refusing to engage any further. The transcript of their exchange reads like a frustrated parent scolding a persistent child. It’s a disappointing demonstration of a press secretary’s unwillingness to address tough questions and level with the American public.
If the administration’s crime prevention plans are truly working, Jean-Pierre should be able to clearly explain how. And if not, the least she can do is be honest with the American people and acknowledge the shortcomings. Unfortunately, it seems Jean-Pierre is more interested in brushing off uncomfortable questions than in providing transparency or effective solutions. Perhaps it’s time for her to step up and do her job properly.