We reported Wednesday on how White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was clearly caught off guard during the mid-week press briefing when she found out from a reporter that President Biden point-blank admitted during a virtual meeting with baby formula manufacturers that same day that he wasn’t made aware of the baby formula crisis until “sometime in early April.”
For the last several weeks, senior White House comms officials from then-press secretary Jen Psaki to then-deputy press secretary Jean-Pierre repeatedly claimed that Biden was on top of the matter since the White House allegedly first learned about the shortage (February), though Psaki conveniently stopped short at the time of giving a definitive timeline for when Biden himself specifically learned about it.
Biden’s answer was a direct contradiction of the answers that came from the likes of Psaki and Jean-Pierre, and the response from KJP to finding out what Biden said during the virtual meeting was to spin his admittedly belated response as a “whole of government approach” rather than one that simply involved Biden. At one point, she even talked about how Biden just has a lot on his plate right now because a lot of people tell him things and stuff, as though that’s an excuse for the leader of the free world looking and being completely out of touch over a serious issue that is impacting millions of families and their infant children.
At Thursday’s press briefing, several reporters came loaded for bear, including NBC News senior White House correspondent Kelly O’Donnell, who schooled Jean-Pierre after she again attempted a dodge and weave on the question of who specifically informed Biden and when, telling her that there is usually some paper trail or some member of any administration who is willing to go on record to say “hey, I told the president this or that” and that with that knowledge in mind, Jean-Pierre should be able say who was it that alerted Biden to the situation. When KJP continued to dance around the issue, O’Donnell told her that reporters would continue to press her and others in the administration until someone fesses up:
Shortly after, another reporter went the same direction with KJP, who again gave the same canned answer she gave Wednesday on how people tell Biden a lot of stuff that he has to have time to process, with the insinuation being that maybe he just can’t remember everything he’s told:
O’Donnell also posted this to her Twitter feed Wednesday as White House spokespeople scrambled (but failed) to look like everyone was on the same page on this issue from day one after Biden let the quiet part slip out:
As I’ve said before, it’s been more than obvious for a while now that senior officials in the Biden White House including Biden himself were largely MIA on this issue until well after the situation hit crisis levels, even though manufacturers had been raising the issue for months. Remember, the White House’s initial response was to throw manufacturers like Abbott under the bus, but when those suppliers responded accordingly, the Biden administration had to come up with a new response.
Unfortunately for them, it’s one that not even reliably Democrat-friendly news outlets are buying.