White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre refused to say during Tuesday’s press briefing whether federal officials were still searching for additional classified documents from President Joe Biden’s time as vice president in the Obama administration.
“Last week [you said] that we all can assume, the American people could assume that the searches were completed and all the documents have been recovered,” the Associated Press reporter Zeke Miller said. “On Saturday, the White House Counsel’s Office said that five additional classified documents had been found.”
“Is it safe to assume now that all the documents have been recovered, all the official records, all the classified documents are back in [the] custody of the National Archives?” Miller asked. “Or are more searches underway to find out if there’s anything out there?”
Jean-Pierre refused to answer the question, claiming that she was being “prudent” by letting the DOJ’s special counsel investigation into Biden continue without commenting on it.
AP's @ZekeJMiller to KJP: "Last week….you" said "the American people can assume that the searches were complete and all the documents had recovered. On Saturday the WH counsel's office said five additional classified documents…Are more searches underway"? pic.twitter.com/T0sh5Mgeq0
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) January 17, 2023
During another portion of the press conference, Jean-Pierre was asked if Biden was physically involved in going through his things searching for classified documents.
“Is he physically joining in the search for these things, rummaging around these boxes in the garage and wherever else?” a reporter asked. “I mean, literally.”
Jean-Pierre responded by saying that she was being “very clear” in that she would not comment on the investigation or matters related to the investigation.
👀 Karine Jean-Pierre won’t say if Biden himself is rummaging through his home for improperly stored classified documents. pic.twitter.com/DhNWhCJtLD
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 17, 2023
“Did you not know on Friday that those additional documents had been found when you were at the podium, or were you being directed by someone to not be forthcoming on this issue?” another reporter asked.
“I have been forthcoming from this podium,” Jean-Pierre responded. “What I said yes to was what the statement at the time was–what we all had. You all had the statement, and I was repeating what the [White House] counsel was saying at the time.”
Jean-Pierre also dodged questions from NBC News reporter Peter Alexander about “why shouldn’t Americans be upset about documents found in a garage.”
NBC News' Peter Alexander repeatedly presses Karine Jean-Pierre about the White House claiming that Republicans are "faking outrage" over Biden's classified document scandal.
"Why shouldn't Americans be upset about documents found in a garage?" he asks.
She can't answer. pic.twitter.com/zTdd3SkkmN
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) January 17, 2023
She also dodged tough questions from CBS News reporter Weijia Jiang about the scandal.
CBS News' Weijia Jiang grills Karine Jean-Pierre over Biden's document scandal. An angry, dismissive, and snappy KJP refuses to give meaningful answers. pic.twitter.com/T8ZFf53HI2
— Jason Rantz on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) January 17, 2023
This report has been updated to include additional information.