During an early February speech in Las Vegas, President Joe Biden spoke about his 2021 meeting with G7 leaders in which he had to discuss the January 6 protest and riot with NATO heads. During the speech, he confused current French President Emmanuel Macron and former French President Fracois Mitterrand, who died in 1996. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre then had to defend Biden during a press briefing, and that went less than well for her.
During the Vegas speech, Biden said, “It was in the south of England. And I sat down and I said, ‘America is back,’ and Mitterrand from Germany, I mean from France, looked at me and said – said, ‘you know what — why — how long you back for?’” Continuing, he added, “And I looked at him, and the — and the chancellor of Germany said, ‘What would you say Mr. President, if you picked up the paper tomorrow in the London Times and the London Times said, ‘A thousand people break through the House of Commons, break down the doors, two Bobbies are killed in order to stop the election of a prime minister. What would you say?’”
So, on the February 8 press conference, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre was asked about bumbling Biden’s gaffe and found herself having difficulty explaining it away, giving a less than compelling and quite roundabout answer.
The White House correspondent who broached the subject asked, “And multiple times this week, the President in his public remarks talked about having conversations in 2021 with European leaders who were deceased at that time. So, can you give us an explanation into why the President was referring to those — to those people in those conversations and what exactly happened there?“
KJP, responding, led off by trying to distract from Biden’s gaffe and bringing back up January 6. She said, “So, I know there has been a lot of focus on this. I want to just step back for a second and just kind of think, really, kind of top level of what the President was talking about when he was having — as he tells a story about having these conversations with world leaders, which are obviously important conversations. He was underlying the January 6 events in 2021: what happened; the message that it sent around the globe, around the world to our leaders — to world leaders; how dangerous it is; our democracy — how important democracy was and — or is — continues to be, obviously.”
Continuing, she kept up the pearl-clutching routine, saying, “And he was asked — he was asked when he was — after he was elected, when he went to the G7, he said — and you saw this — he — it was something that we were saying throughout that trip, ‘America is back.’ ‘America is back.’ And what — what was asked of him was, ‘For how long?‘”
And, using the opportunity to say “our democracy,” she said, “And that whole story is just to reiterate, to really land, obviously, how important what we saw — that event — how important it is to continue to fight to our — for our democracy, but also, how important — how important it is — the United States — you know, their leadership — our leadership here in this — in the globe.”
Continuing, she still refrained from addressing the question or the implicit question underlying it, which was how Biden’s brain is doing. Instead, she said, “And so, he never thought — this is someone who was a senator. He was a vice president. He has a relationship with some of these world leaders for decades. And he never thought that he would hear that. And so, you hear him say that. You hear him talk about it.“
Still refraining from addressing that implicit question or even the gaffe as her answer dragged on, KJP said, “He — you know, another part of it, too, is how unprecedented — how unprecedented that moment was on January 6th when 2,000 mob — a 2,000-person mob went to the Capitol because they were lied to about the results of the election, because they wanted to overturn the election.“
Then she finally tried to hand wave away the gaffe. She said, “So, just really want to make sure that we get that — that we understand why he — the reason he was telling that story. And, look — you know, look, as it relates to the names and — and what he was trying to — you know, what he was trying to — to say, look, many people — elected officials, many people — you know, they tend — they can — they can mis- — misspeak sometimes. Right?”
Watch her here:
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