White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre took a few questions on the Biden classified documents matter at yesterday’s briefing (White House transcript here). The New York Post covers this aspect of the briefing here. KJP performed a few golden oldies.
For example: “I’m going to continue to be prudent from here. I’m going to be — continued to be consistent and make sure that those questions go to my colleagues in the White House Counsel’s Office.”
One more: “Look, the President — the American people heard from the President directly on this when he was asked by your colleagues, at least twice now, about — about how he sees this process. And he was very clear what — with the response of what we’re currently seeing. And he says, ‘I take this very seriously.’ He said, ‘I didn’t know that the documents were there.’” However, she subsequently clarified that misquotation as her own interpretation of Biden’s expression of “surprise.”
Ian Sams is the spokesman for the White House Counsel’s office. He is leading the way in formulating the administration’s talking points on the matter. Sams held a conference call for more than 160 reporters. The linked Post story above quotes Sams speaking on the call:
“I have certainly endeavored to give all of you in the press corps access to the information that you need,” Ian Sams said on a press call. “I’ve taken your questions a couple of times, I made myself available for media interviews.”
Well, you can’t always get what you need.
I wonder whether any of the more than 160 reporters took this personally:
“In every presidency, you know, there are many people out there in the media who’s sort of trying to stir up controversy to get attention or time on camera,” added Sams, who has functioned as the press rep for the White House counsel’s office since the scandal broke Jan. 9 with the revelation that sensitive papers were found at Biden’s abandoned office at the Penn Biden Center think tank in Washington.
Politico’s West Wing Playbook has background on Sams’s role here. He touts Biden’s “cooperation” with the investigation. MSNBC seems to be his preferred channel of communication. I follow Sams’s Twitter feed here. MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell has taken up the party line. This is what Sams wants you to “know.”
“Everything we know about the Biden case is because of Biden cooperation. Every single thing we know about it.” pic.twitter.com/HXrWphb6aI
— Ian Sams (@IanSams46) January 23, 2023
The New York Post story includes two photos extracted from Hunter Biden’s laptop. The caption on the photo below simply reads: “Images of the document boxes were found on Hunter Biden’s laptop.” The Post story has nothing more on the boxes, but the Post reported on them last week in Bruce Golding’s story “What’s in here, Joe? Beat-up box of ‘Important Doc’s’ was out in open at Joe Biden’s house, laptop reveals.” I had missed Golding’s January 20 story.
UPDATE: Andrew McCarthy disposes of Team Biden’s “cooperation” line/lie in an excellent column for The Hill.