White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre dodged questions Wednesday about the emerging scandal involving classified documents from President Joe Biden’s time as vice president that have been found at his private office and a second undisclosed location.
The story first made news on Monday when CBS News reported that lawyers for Biden were “packing files housed in a locked closet to prepare to vacate office space at the Penn Biden Center in Washington, D.C.”
CNN reported that some of the classified materials that were discovered included top-secret files designated as “sensitive compartmented information,” which means that the materials include highly sensitive information obtained from intelligence sources.
Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy grilled Jean-Pierre on the matter, using Biden’s previous comments during a “60 Minutes” interview against the president.
“On these documents, how could anyone be that irresponsible?” Doocy said. “Isn’t that what this president said about mishandling classified documents?”
“The president spoke to this personally,” Jean-Pierre replied. “He believes that classified documents and information should be taken seriously. He takes them seriously.”
“Here’s what happened when his lawyers found out that the documents were there,” she continued. “They immediately turned them over to the Archives.”
“But they were there in the first place,” Doocy pressed. “I understand that they did the right thing–”
“I’m not going to go into specifics,” Jean-Pierre shot back. “What I am reiterating to you is what you heard from the president yourself, Peter, which is how he saw the process and how he respects and truly respects and takes this very seriously.”
Doocy pressed, “How can President Biden be trusted moving forward with America’s secrets?”
“Because his lawyers, his team did the right thing,” she claimed.
“But he had a closet with classified information in it that they found,” Doocy said.
“Again, he was surprised the records were there,” she claimed. “He was surprised the records were there. And when his lawyers found out and his team found out that they were there, they turned it over to the Archives. And now it’s being reviewed by the Department of Justice.”