Ed O’Keefe, a CBS News White House reporter, questioned White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre whether President Joseph Biden, as a consumer of the news, had followed any of the coverage of ex-President Donald Trump’s arrest.
Jean-Pierre spent much of Wednesday’s press conference dodging questions concerning Trump’s detention and indictment this week, but she did answer a select few directly.
Jean-Pierre responded to ABC News correspondent Mary Bruce’s question about how the president discovered the allegations against Trump. She said he was briefed by senior members of his staff and found out like we all found out — through the media.
Mr. Biden was eating in the White House beneath a painting of Abraham Lincoln with his Council of Advisers on Science and Technology as Mr. Trump appeared in court some 238 miles (383km) to the north. The President called a council meeting to discuss AI’s potential risks and benefits.
After the meeting, reporters yelled questions at Mr. Trump, but he did not address them before the media was escorted out.
In DC, the White House Press Secretary joked that she liked how the same questions about Mr. Trump were being asked differently.
She addressed the reporters by saying they could not speak more since the matter was still open.
She said as he does every day, the President’s attention will be on the American people.
The Trump issue “is not a priority for him,” she said.
Jean-Pierre admitted that President Biden kept up with the case by saying, “Certainly, he will catch some of the news,” which she claimed had been “playing out on several of the networks here every day for hours and hours.”
When the indictment news came last week, the White House has been mostly mum on the matter. According to what Jean-Pierre has indicated in the past, Biden was unaware of the accusations in advance.
Biden has been cautious in criticizing Mr. Trump, whether about the “Make America Great Again” campaign or Trump administration policies, even before the indictment.