White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded to the death of Texas National Guardsman Bishop Evans by emphasizing that his work was directed by the state and not the federal government.
Psaki shared the provocative words during the White House’s daily press briefing on Monday.
“Our heart goes out to his family and his loved ones,” Psaki noted but was quick to shift blame when asked about the Biden administration’s responsibility.
“Does the White House feel any responsibility for his death in that there’s reporting that he lost his life allegedly trying to save two migrants who were smuggling drugs?” a reporter asked. “Does the White House feel at all responsible?” the reporter added.
“Of course, we are mourning the loss of his life and we are grateful for the work of every National Guardsman,” Psaki noted.
“I would note that the National Guard works for the states and so he is an employee of the Texas National Guard and his efforts and his operations were directed by there, not by the federal government in this effort,” she added.
Evans disappeared on Friday attempting to rescue two migrants who were crossing the Rio Grande River. Evans was assigned to Operation Lone Star and was reported missing along the Rio Grande River during a rescue attempt in Eagle Pass.
Texas Military Department (TMD) officials recovered his body on Monday morning.
“The search concluded at about 8:30 a.m. on Monday when Border Patrol agents found the body of Specialist Evans near the Mexican side of the Rio Grande,” according to Breitbart Texas.
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott released a statement on social media following the confirmation that Evans’ body had been found.
“We are heartbroken to learn of the death of SPC Bishop Evans,” Abbott said.
“Our National Guard soldiers risk their lives every day to serve and protect others and we are eternally grateful for the way SPC Evans heroically served his state and country. I thank the members of the Texas National Guard, the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Border Patrol, and local law enforcement for working around the clock to locate this soldier. The Texas Military Department will continue to provide more updates to the public as they become available. I ask that Texans join Cecilia and me in praying for the family and friends of SPC Evans as they grieve this heartbreaking loss,” he added.
We are heartbroken to learn of the death of SPC Bishop Evans.
He heroically served his state & country.
I want to thank all rescue teams that worked to locate this soldier.
Join me & Cecilia in praying for the family & friends of SPC Evans. pic.twitter.com/xwSZlqEGhT
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 25, 2022
Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn was direct in his blame on the Biden administration’s policy related to the drowning.
“Each day brave Texans are working to do what the Biden Admin will not: secure our border,” he tweeted. “Tragically, on Friday, one of our state’s National Guardsmen paid the ultimate price attempting to save a life. My heart breaks for his family & friends at this terrible time.”
Each day brave Texans are working to do what the Biden Admin will not: secure our border.
Tragically, on Friday, one of our state’s National Guardsmen paid the ultimate price attempting to save a life.
My heart breaks for his family & friends at this terrible time.
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) April 25, 2022