Being the White House press secretary has never been an easy job, but when your boss is a president who appears to be suffering from substantial mental decline, it’s that much harder.
That could be why Jen Psaki only stayed in the role for a year, and why current White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre likely has a lot of sleepless nights.
Speaking at an event focusing on world hunger Wednesday, President Biden sought out Rep. Jackie Walorski, an Indiana Republican who was tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident last month along with two of her staffers. The White House put out a statement expressing sorrow at the time.
Needless to say, Jean-Pierre was asked about Biden’s latest bizarre behavior during a presser following the event, during which time she claimed that the late congresswoman was merely “top of mind” for the president.
“The president was naming the congressional champions on this issue and was acknowledging her incredible work,” Jean-Pierre said. “He had already planned to welcome the congresswoman’s family to the White House. On Friday, there will be a bill signing in her honor this coming Friday. So, of course, she was on his mind. She was top of mind for the president.”
Fox News noted:
Reporters weren’t satisfied with Jean-Pierre’s response.
Following questions about discussions between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia and pressing the White House on how it plans to respond to the suspected sabotage of two natural gas pipelines fueling Europe, reporters returned to the president’s confusion about whether the former Indiana congresswoman was still alive.
If Walorski, who died in a car accident last month, was at the top of the president’s mind, another reporter asked, why was he looking for her in the room?
“Again, I think people can understand. I think the American people out there who, you know, watch the briefing from time to time maybe at this moment will understand when someone is that top of mind,” Jean-Pierre said again.
Minutes later, yet another reporter brought up the incident, leading to an exasperated response from Jean-Pierre: “Why one more time?”
She said the reporter, who asked if Biden simply misread a teleprompter again or was confused, was “jumping to a lot of conclusions.”
“I just answered the question. If I had, if that had been the case, I would have stated that,” Jean-Pierre said. “I clearly have stated what you just laid out. What I have said is that she was on top of mind and that he is going to see her family in just two days time on Friday to honor her, to honor her work, to honor, to honor her legacy, if you will.”
Yet another reporter noted that the “confusing part” was that Biden appeared to believe that Walorski was “alive and in the room” if she was at “top of mind.”
“I don’t find that confusing,” she said. “I mean, I think many people can speak to, sometimes, when you have someone top of mind, they are at top of mind. Exactly that. And it is also, if you put it into context, it’s not like it happened without outside of context.”
The reporter responded that he has “John Lennon on top of mind just about every day. But I’m not looking around for him.”
“When you sign a bill for John Lennon as president, then we can have this conversation,” Jean-Pierre concluded.