Months later, Jean-Pierre still playing dodgeball at White House briefing


Nearly six months into her job as White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre continues to dodge questions at daily press briefings even after reporters complained over the summer that she often provides uninformative answers.

White House press secretaries are known for dodging questions on a regular basis. And the Biden White House has held regular briefings, unlike the Trump administration that at one point went more than a year without one.

But White House reporters told Fox News Digital in July that Jean-Pierre usually leans on “prepared answers” and “doesn’t appear willing” to provide direct answers to direct questions. Now settled into her job, Jean-Pierre still regularly sidesteps questions on major issues.

One White House reporter recently brought up comments from SpaceX founder Elon Musk that many observers criticized as boosting Russian interests in relation to its war on Ukraine. The reporter asked if those comments represented the U.S. position – but Jean-Pierre addressed neither Musk nor what he said.

“The president has been very clear, we have been very clear about this, and he believes decisions about negotiations or decisions about Ukraine are decisions for Ukraine to make. And nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine, and I will leave it there,” Pierre said on Oct. 17. “I won’t say more from here.”

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On Sept. 23, Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked Jean-Pierre if the White House could say at how many weeks President Joe Biden would want to limit abortion, if at all.

“As you know, [House Minority Leader] Kevin McCarthy put out the GOP agenda,” Jean-Pierre started to respond.

“I’m not asking about Kevin McCarthy, I’m asking about Joe Biden and [his] position on abortion. How many weeks?” Doocy interrupted.

“I am answering your question. What Republicans are trying to do is take us backwards,” Jean-Pierre said. “They are trying to take away the rights and freedoms of Americans.”

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Jean-Pierre does directly answer some questions from the White House press corps. On Monday, she directly answered a question about whether Musk is under a national security review: He’s not, she said.

However, other topics that Jean-Pierre has sidestepped questions on recently range from Biden’s apparent mental lapses to the president’s relationship with oil companies.

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“You’re asking oil companies to further lower gas prices. What makes you think that they are going to listen to an administration that is ultimately trying to put them out of business,” Doocy asked Jean-Pierre last week.

Jean-Pierre asked for clarification on how the administration is trying to put oil companies out of business. Doocy responded that “they produce fossil fuels, and this president says he wants to end fossil fuel.”

The press secretary responded by simply touting increased oil production. “We’ve seen that from their – when we see their profit margins. They are – they – you know – it’s record highs,” she said.

Also, a reporter last week asked if Biden wants more migrants to come to Delaware from GOP states that fly and bus migrants to blue states and cities.

Jean-Pierre brusquely dismissed the reporter.

“I don’t even understand that question, but I will move on,” she said.

The press secretary also skipped passed a question from Doocy on if Biden agreed with recent comments Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams made connecting abortion and inflation.

“I did not see her comments on this, so I don’t know the context of this,” Jean-Pierre said. “Again, I want to be careful because this is a political debate, and it’s related to a midterm election, so I’m not going to comment on that.”

On Sept. 28, Jean-Pierre repeatedly said that late Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., was merely “top of mind” for Biden when he asked repeatedly if she was in a room during an event. Walorski was killed in a car crash in August. After reporters repeatedly pressed for a clarification or an explanation for what happened with the mistake – or even an admission that it was a mistake – Jean-Pierre would not answer further.

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“I know this is a question that many of you have had. I’ve answered it multiple times already in this room, and my answer is certainly not going to change,” the press secretary said. “All of you may have views on how I’m answering it, but I’m answering the question to the way that he saw it and the way that we see it.”

Jean-Pierre assumed the press secretary post earlier this year after Jen Psaki held it for more than a year.

Fox News’ Pat Ward and Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre regularly dodges questions from White House reporters, including on issues such as Biden’s abortion stance or energy production.

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