On Tuesday afternoon, the Fox News Channel’s Peter Doocy wasn’t having it as the ever-inept White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre reverted back to a years-long, cartoonish, pants-on-fire fable that Republicans are the true anti-cops, defund-the-police party in light of Monday night’s carjacking of Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX) in the Navy Yard section of Washington D.C.
It started with a question from The Wall Street Journal’s Catherine Lucey, who was not only the penultimate reporter called on, but shamefully only the first to bring up Cuellar: “[D]oes the White House any comment on the carjacking of Representative Cuellar? Has the President reached out to him? And more broadly, does it say anything about safety and crime in the District?”
After confirming that Biden “did have an opportunity to speak with the congressman today,” that the White House is “grateful and relieved” he was okay, and calling the attack “unacceptable,” she launched into blaming the GOP for cities not being fully staffed with police (click “expand”):
[T]his is the President, unlike Republicans, has actually put forth billions of dollars — has taken to make sure that there are billions of dollars in his budget every year and through the American Rescue Plan. Let’s not forget there were billions of dollars in his American Rescue Plan so that local communities and — and state and federal police as well, law enforcement were able to make sure that they had the funding, so that they can hire more law enforcement. And that was incredibly important to the President so that they can make sure that their communities were safe. This is something that President has done and Republicans have not helped.
Sensing Doocy being unamused, she turned to him: “And I know you have, I know you’re going to follow up on that. What — what’s your question?”
Doocy went straight to the obvious the left writ large — in or out of office — won’t admit, which is that they run nearly all of these major cities spiraling into lawlessness: “Well, the first follow up would be, how are you going to blame Republicans for this? Isn’t D.C. run by a bunch of Democrats?”
Jean-Pierre doubled down that Biden “has been very, very straightforward about” ensuring “communities are safe” whereas Republicans wouldn’t support giving “communities…funding” to “hire more police officers”.
Doocy hit back with this stinging hypothetical: “So, if President Biden’s policies are helping bring crime down, would he be comfortable with somebody borrowing his Corvette and parking it on the street overnight in Southeast D.C.?”
The Press Secretary refused to go there, saying she’d only “get into the facts about what this President has done” and brought up the gun control legislation from last year.
Doocy zoomed out: “If a member of Congress is not safe on the streets of the nation’s capital, Who is?”
Jean-Pierre again blamed Republicans, arguing they’ve refused to join Biden in ensuring “there are billions of dollars to deal with crime.”
Elsewhere in the briefing, The New York Times’s Michael Shear surprisingly called out the National Security Council’s John Kirby over the administration refusing to provide a timeline for how long aid to Ukraine could last without further congressional funding.
More importantly, Shear questioned why they can’t be honest with Americans about how long Ukraine’s war with Russia could drag on (click “expand”):
SHEAR: Admiral, can I get just two timeline clarifications? What is first — what is the John Kirby definition of a bit in terms of how long the U.S. can continue to provide support to Ukraine under the current funding levels? Is three weeks? Four weeks? Is it a few months? Like how — how long is a bit?
KIRBY: I think, given what we have left and given the pace at which we’ve been providing support. Um, uh, you’re talking perhaps, um, a couple of months or so roughly. Now, it depends — Michael, the reason I’m being squishy on this is because it depends on what’s going on — on the battlefield and how big the packages are and what capabilities Ukraine needs and as the war has evolved, so have the packages and so I need a little bit of breathing room on what a bit means. But — but you know, in coming weeks —
KIRBY: — and a couple of months or so, it’s roughly about right.
SHEAR: [T]he President and you all have repeatedly said, and it sounds like he said again that the meeting today that the U.S. is in this for as long as it takes, right? So. as the President goes back to voters to face reelection as a President who has in the past criticized the length of some of the wars that we’ve been engaged in in Afghanistan and Iraq , does — is there any responsibility for the President to be specific about with the voters about how long he is — he thinks the United States should be willing to be involved in this? Should he be willing to say two years? Five years? 10 years? 20 years? Like, how long, you know, is — doe s— does he commit the United States to — to being in this system in this situation of what is costing tens and tens of billions of dollars on a regular basis?
KIRBY: For as long as it takes means for as long as it takes. And the President has been very, very honest about that. Every other leader on the call also, in their own way, emphasized the — their commitment again for as long as it takes. Now, look, I mean, everybody, we’d all like this war to end tomorrow. It could if Mr Putin would do the right thing. Certainly, the Ukrainians want it to end. Nobody wants to see this go on any longer, but it is their war. I — I understand that we are the leading contributor of support, but the Ukrainians are the ones fighting this war. We don’t have American troops on the ground, so it’s a — not a fair comparison to make with Iraq or Afghanistan where you had American boots on the ground. This is Ukraine’s war. They’re fighting it. We are helping them fight it. We’re giving them the foreign assistance that we ourselves have benefited from in our own history. And again, we’re going to work as hard as we can with might and main to — to make possible for Ukraine to end this war as soon as they can, but it has to be done in terms that President Zelenskyy is comfortable with, the Ukrainian people can accept and that ends up with a whole, free, prosperous Ukraine with international recognized borders.
SHEAR: Is forever war a fair term to apply to this?
KIRBY: I don’t think so.
And, a few minutes later, Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann asked about reporting from Semafor “that the chief of staff for the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations, Christopher Mayer, his chief was allegedly part of an Iranian influence campaign and had access to top secret environmental information.”
“Does the NSC have an assessment of that was national security compromised? Has the President been briefed,” he wondered.
Kirby said “no,” adding he would “refer” this “to DoD on that one completely.”
To see the relevant transcript from the October 3 briefing, click here.