I held that the stand-up act by White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre at the lectern in the Brady Press Briefing yesterday was “A bad day for KJP.” The White House has now posted the transcript here. President Biden’s Triumph of the shill speech of this past Thursday continues to reverberate in Peter Doocy’s questions. Presented without further comment by me, I will only say that this is classic.
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[Doocy]: A follow-up about the MAGA Republican attention. So if we’re all in agreement that it is incorrect to say the 2020 election was stolen, what about the 2016 election?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Look, I’m not going to go back to where we were or what happened in 2016. We’re going to focus on the here and now. We’re going to focus on what’s happening today — this inflection point that the President pointed out, very clearly, very decisively in a few speeches about what the country needs to do at this time to bring the country together.
And he believes that’s where a majority of Americans are when it comes to protecting our democracy, when it comes to protecting our rights, and when it comes to protecting our freedoms. That’s what we’re going to talk about. That’s what we’re going to focus on — on where we are today.
[Doocy]: But just in trying to understand the new attention on the MAGA Republicans, you tweeted in 2016 —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Oh, I knew this was coming.
[Doocy]: — Trump “stole” an election. You tweeted —
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I was waiting, Peter, when you were going to ask me that question. (Laughs.)
[Doocy]: Well, great. Here we go. You tweeted Trump “stole” an election. You tweeted Brian Kemp “stole” an election. If denying election results is extreme now, why wasn’t it then?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So let’s — let’s — let’s be really clear: That — that comparison that you made is just ridiculous. I have been — I have been —
[Doocy]: How is that ridiculous?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Well, you’re asking me — you’re asking me a question.
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: Let me answer it.
[Doocy]: And you said it was ridiculous.
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: I was — I was talking specifically at that time of what was happening with voting rights and the — what was in danger of voting rights. That’s what I was speaking to at the time.
And here’s the thing: I have said Governor Kemp won the election in Georgia. I’ve been clear about that. I have said President Trump won the election of 2016. And I’ve been clear about that.
What we are talking about right now is — let’s not forget what happened on January 6th, 2021, when we saw an insurrection — a mob that was incited by the person who occupied this campus, this facility at that time. And it was an attack on our democracy.
Let’s not forget people died that day. Law enforcement were attacked that day. That was the danger that we were seeing at the time. That’s what the President has called out. And that’s what he’s going to continue to call out.
So, yes, when you have MAGA Republicans — a extreme part of Republicans who for — who just deny or do not want to really say what exactly happened on that day, or say it was a protest when it clearly was not a peaceful protest — that’s not what we saw on that day — yes, the President is going to call that out.
And here’s the thing: Majority of Americans agree with him, majority of Americans agree with this President on protecting our democracy, protecting our freedom, and protecting our rights. That’s what we’re talking about today, and that’s what the President is going to focus on.
All right, we’re going to have to move. We’re going to have to move. I’m going to call on folks I haven’t called on.
NOTE: Below — via Steven Nelson’s New York Post story — is a screenshot of the tweet to which Doocy referred in his questions.
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