The White House launched a confusing and nonsensical explanation for why President Joe Biden was looking for late Representative Jackie Walorski during an event after she was killed in a car crash in Indiana last month – and claimed she was ‘at top of mind.’
The briefing room devolved into shouts as Biden’s Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre sent reporters into a tizzy during Wednesday’s briefing when she repeatedly suggested that the president did not forget Walorski was dead when calling out for her during his remarks earlier in the day.
Biden, 79, asked the crowd gathered for the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in Washington, D.C. where Walorski was located as he thanked lawmakers for their work on a plan to end hunger in the U.S. by 2030.
He interrupted his own remarks to ask: ‘Jackie, are you here?’
‘Where’s Jackie? She must not be here,’ Biden concluded. It came after he also praised Senators Mike Braun, a Republican, and Cory Booker, a Democrat, on the bipartisan initiative.
Jean-Pierre insisted that it’s ‘not unusual’ for people to say the names of deceased individuals when they are ‘at top of mind,’ a phrase she continued to repeat throughout her briefing Wednesday during questions from multiple outlets including CNN, CBS and The Washington Post.
‘I don’t find that confusing,’ she said when asked if having her at ‘top of mind’ also means that the president thinks Walorski is living and in the room.
‘I mean I think many people can speak to sometimes when you have people top of mind, they are top of mind,’ she said.
The reporter got snarky with Jean-Pierre, looking for an answer by saying: ‘I have John Lennon top of mind just about every day but I’m not looking around for him.’
‘When you sign a bill for John Lennon as president then we can have this conversation,’ she said, launching the briefing room into confusion and shouting over each other.
The botched excuse ended up garnering even more negative attention than the initial remarks from Biden.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Press Secretary Doug Adres seemed exacerbated with the way Jean-Pierre handled the gaffe, tweeting: ‘just admit he misspoke!! good grief’.
A spokesperson for Texas Senator Ted Cruz said the day will go down in history as the first time members of the press recognized Biden is mentally unfit.
‘Remember where you where on September 28,2022,’ Steve Guest tweeted. ‘It’s the day it finally became ok for the White House Press pool to acknowledge that Joe Biden is senile.’
Walorski’s family plans to meet with Biden at a White House on Friday, another reason that Jean-Pierre claims she was on the president’s mind during the event.
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