Once in a Blue Moon: NPR Reporter Actually Does His Job, Presses KJP on the Border

The inept White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre continued her penchant Tuesday for stumbling her way through press briefings with the latest topic being Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) flying illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard and Governors Greg Abbott (R-TX) and Doug Ducey (R-AZ) bussing them to liberal cities. 

And, for once, NPR put your tax dollars to work in a positive manner as correspondent Franco Ordoñez grilled Jean-Pierre on the Biden administration’s refusal to work these governors to secure the border.

Ordoñez began with a basic question that should seem obvious, regardless of one’s political leanings: “Did the White House ever try to get in touch with Governor DeSantis or Governor Abbott about this to try to reach some type of understanding or a solution?”

As she’s done throughout her tenure, Jean-Pierre managed to make this basic question come off like a hardball by petulantly claiming “there’s no understanding to be reached” since “[t]hey are using people who are leaving…communist countries as political stunt.”

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She added that, instead of the White House calling those governors, the governors should call their senators and ask them to support the Biden administration’s priorities on immigration.

All the while, she claimed its governors who are obsessed with “their own political narrative.”

To his credit, Ordoñez followed up with this outstanding point about whether the White House even supports the premise of having other states help border states by taking in illegal immigrants so alleviate overcrowding:

[D]oes the White House support the idea or the concepts of states further from the border accepting some more migrants, kind of sharing some of the burden of state resources being used by increasing number of migrants, whether they be from Venezuela, Cuba, or Nicaragua?

Jean-Pierre again refused to show sanity and dismissed that possibility and instead whined: “[T]he way that we see it is alerting Fox News and not city or state officials about a plan to abandon children fleeing communism on the side of the street is not burden sharing.”

“That is not the definition that we see of burden sharing. It is a cruel, premeditated political stunt. That is not what they’re — that is what they are doing. And so, we’re always — we’re always happy to have conversations about ways to further improve border processing,” she added.

After insisting the border could be fixed if “Republicans…would stop blocking our efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform,” Ordoñez closed out the briefing with another salient question about whether the transports would be acceptable if governors would simply give people a heads up.

Predictably, Jean-Pierre wouldn’t answer and instead made it out to be a hostage situation of Republicans accept Biden’s conditions or the situation continues to worsen:

What we’re saying is the President has put forward — on day one, he put forward a comprehensive immigration reform, ways to deal with what is at stake…[W]hat we’re asking is for Republicans in Congress to help us come up with a solution…and they are not doing that. Instead, they’re doing political stunts.

To see the relevant transcript from September 20’s briefing, click “expand.”

White House press briefing
September 20, 2022
12:59 p.m. Eastern [via Washington Post Live]

FRANCO ORDOÑEZ: Did the White House ever try to get in touch with Governor DeSantis or Governor Abbott about this to try to reach some type of understanding or a solution?

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: I mean, there’s no understanding to be reached. They are using people who are leaving a commun- — communist countries as political stunt, instead of — instead of maybe what they should do is call on their senators in their — in their state. Call on, you know, Senator Marco Rubio. Ask Senator Rick Scott why is it that they did not vote for historic funding when it comes to Department of Homeland Security, making sure that we are dealing with this issue. That’s not what they did. This is, again, a political stunt that they are taking for their own — for their own political narrative. It is not about really dealing with what is happening and coming up with a solution.

ORDOÑEZ: And in terms of — in terms of that and understanding that the White House does not support the use of people as a political stunt — but does the White House support the idea or the concepts of states further from the border accepting some more migrants, kind of sharing some of the burden of state resources being used by increasing number of migrants, whether they be from Venezuela, Cuba, or Nicaragua?

JEAN-PIERRE: So, the way that we see it is alerting Fox News and not city or state officials about a plan to abandon children fleeing communism on the side of the street is not burden sharing. That is not the definition that we see of burden sharing. It is a cruel, premeditated political stunt. That is not what they’re — that is what they are doing. And so, we’re always — we’re always happy to have conversations about ways to further improve border processing. And we could be doing more if — again, if Republicans in Congress would stop blocking our efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform and also funding — historical funding for DHS. So, again, this is not what border [burden] sharing looks like. They have used the lives of people who are fleeing persecution from communist countries, using them as a political stunt.

ORDOÑEZ: If the governors were more open about and transparent, would that be more acceptable?

JEAN-PIERRE: What we’re saying is the President has put forward — on day one, he put forward a comprehensive immigration reform, ways to deal with what is at stake here days — the ways to deal with a broken immigration system. He put that forward on day one and what we’re asking is for Republicans in Congress to help us come up with a solution to look at what this President put forward on day one, and they are not doing that. Instead, they’re doing political stunts.

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