White House Will Host ‘Tennessee Three,’ But Has No Plans To Invite Covenant Victims
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 19: Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House April 19, 2023 in Washington, DC. This afternoon, U.S. President Joe Biden will deliver remarks on his economic plan during a speech at a union training center in Accokeek, Maryland. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Drew Angerer via Getty Images

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed on Wednesday that President Joe Biden planned to meet with three Tennessee lawmakers who led an anti-gun protest inside the State House — but had no plans to meet with the victims of the Covenant School shooting that sparked the protest.

Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy pressed Jean-Pierre on the issue, and while she did say that Biden planned to meet with the “Tennessee Three,” she had “nothing to report” when he asked about any potential plans to invite the shooting victims.


“So, Monday you’re going to have three of the lawmakers who protested —” Doocy began.

“Peacefully protested,” Jean-Pierre interrupted.

“— who peacefully protested after the Nashville Covenant School shooting,” Doocy continued. “Have any of the victims or the victims’ families been invited to the White House?”

“I don’t have anything to read out to you about any invite,” Jean-Pierre replied.


Doocy responded with just one word: “Why?”

“I just don’t have anything at this time to read out to you — any invite,” Jean-Pierre said again before pivoting to say that the president’s focus was on “getting things done” about gun violence.

She went on to explain that was why he planned to meet with legislators who were stepping up to take the kind of action the White House was pushing with regard to additional gun control measures.

“That’s why he continues to put pressure on Congress,” Jean-Pierre continued, accusing Republicans of not “showing courage” and demanding a ban on “assault weapons.”

The three Tennessee state legislators in question took part in an anti-gun protest that disrupted the legislative session, and two of them — Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson — were expelled from their seats while Gloria Johnson, whose role in the protest was less active, escaped expulsion.

Jones and Pearson were reappointed to their respective seats within days, and have since engaged in another protest — during which Jones carried around a child-sized coffin as a prop.

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