White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to answer when pressed about President Joe Biden’s apparently false claims that American officials had been able to prevent the Chinese spy balloon from obtaining any sensitive information.
Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy posed the question, asking the press secretary to shed light on why Biden would have made such a claim if he knew that it was not true.
Doocy: "The DNI said today that the U.S. does not appear to have provided critical new insights into the People's Republic of China. So, is it they didn't provide any new critical insights or they didn't get anything"
KJP insists "we knew the flightpath & we took precautions" pic.twitter.com/oFiLqWNZWL
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) April 5, 2023
“On the China spycraft, why did President Biden say about the China spycraft in February, ‘We were able to protect sensitive sites against collection’ if that’s not true?” Doocy asked.
Jean-Pierre refused to even address the question, suggesting instead that there was a possibility that it was the reporting that was in error rather than President Biden. “I’m not going to go into — dive into any reporting. That’s not something I’m going to do, I’m not going to confirm any reporting …” she said.
CNN was one of a number of outlets to report earlier this week that despite the Biden administration’s claims to the contrary, the balloon was able to collect data and “was able to transmit information back to Beijing in real time.” Of additional concern was the fact that they had not yet determined whether or not the technology onboard the balloon would have allowed for the data to delete immediately after transmission — which could potentially mean that China was able to retrieve and then immediately delete data without the United States ever learning what it was.
Doocy continued to press Jean-Pierre on the subject, asking, “The DNI said today that the U.S. does not appear to have provided critical new insights to the People’s Republic of China. So, is it they didn’t provide any new critical insights or they didn’t get anything?”
“We knew the flight path of the balloon before it crossed the United States … we took precautions,” Jean-Pierre replied, going on to repeat Biden’s claim that the administration had prevented the balloon from accessing any sensitive information.