On Wednesday (January 11), White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had a heated exchange with Ed O’Keefe, a correspondent for CBS News, regarding President Joe Biden’s alleged mishandling of classified material.
During Wednesday’s White House press briefing, O’Keefe queried if Jean-Pierre was aware of conversations in the White House about waiting to announce the discovery that occurred two months ago.
In response, Jean-Pierre acknowledged reporters’ interest in the development.
However, she asserted that “I’m not going to go beyond what the president laid out” or add anything to what had been expressed by the White House counsel.
Instead, Jean-Pierre referred reporters to the President and White House attorneys for further questions, saying she wanted to “be prudent” and ensure “we do this in the appropriate way.”
O’Keefe hit back, saying that despite her refusal to answer the question, reporters were “going to ask them because that’s our job.”
“I understand,” Jean-Pierre replied before asserting it was her job to answer those questions, adding, “So here we go! Let’s go!”
O’Keefe went on to cite a comment Biden made in the early days of his Presidency about acknowledging mistakes and being accountable, explaining to Jean-Pierre that that was why he was asking her the question.
The pair then went back and forth, with Jean-Pierre insisting O’Keefe didn’t need to have a “confrontation” or be “contentious,” but the CBS News correspondent relayed that he was only doing his job.
O’Keefe then asked if postponing the disclosure of the classified documents had to do with the midterm elections being days away, leading Jean-Pierre to reiterate that the Department of Justice was reviewing the matter.
O’Keefe stated that nothing stopped Biden from disclosing the discovery before the DOJ began its review.
Jean-Pierre replied by relaying that Biden was “surprised” by the discovery but failed to relay when Biden was made aware of the classified documents.