John Kirby Tries To Defend Biden On Classified Docs – Leaves Out One Very Important Detail
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 25: Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council John Kirby speaks during the daily news briefing in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on January 25, 2023 in Washington, DC. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre discussed President Biden’s decision to send 31 M-1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine to aid in their fight against Russia. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Retired Rear Admiral John Kirby attempted to defend President Joe Biden on Wednesday amid the ongoing classified documents scandal — but when he answered a question from Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy, he left out one very important detail.

Doocy asked what the proper procedure was for someone who had removed classified material — whether accidentally or intentionally — from a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF). Kirby said that the correct action would be for that individual to “self-report” — and then claimed that Biden had done just that, omitting the fact that it had taken the president years to do so.


“Usually what happens to someone in the chain of command if they do leave [a SCIF] with a piece of classified material that they’re not supposed to have or that is not secure?” Doocy asked.

“I think … ah … if you do it inadvertently or you do it and you realize you don’t have it secured in a locked bag, you know, you self-report,” Kirby replied, adding, “Which is exactly what the president did, self-report. But you self-report and you make sure that you get the material back secured where it belongs and that you’re transparent about it.”

Not everyone was buying Kirby’s explanation, however, and a number pointed out the fact that even if Biden had “self-reported,” he hadn’t done so until years after he took possession of the classified materials.

“The WH did *not* self-report. Biden’s lawyers called the White House, which informed National Archives. DoJ only learned of this evident crime because NARA’s inspector general learned of it and called DoJ. Team Silver Alert was hoping NARA would bury this,” Phineas Fahrquar tweeted.

“I’m just guessing that a lower-level government employee who took classified information, kept it in his garage, and then ‘self-reported’ several years later wouldn’t get off with zero punishment,” Doug Powers added.

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley pointed out that Kirby — who is currently serving as the Coordinator for Strategic Communications for the National Security Council — was clearly allowed to answer questions that Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had referred to the White House Counsel’s office.

“Riddle me this: why can the Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby answer basic questions about classification rules but not the White House Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre?” Turley asked.

Noting that Jean-Pierre had refused to answer even questions that only pertained to the rules regarding classified documents, he added, “The position of the White House has become entirely untethered from any legal or logical justification. What remains is a calculated use of the investigation to stonewall the public and the press.”

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