Retired Rear Adm. John Kirby’s willingness to engage with the press about President Biden’s classified documents saga amid perceived stonewalling by White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre shows she may not be fit for her job, critics said Friday.
Kirby, who served as Pentagon spokesman under former President Barack Obama and briefly under Biden, is currently the National Security Council’s coordinator for strategic communications. He often engages with the press on matters like Ukraine, Russia and China.
Kirby joined Jean-Pierre for a briefing earlier this month, and took questions from reporters including Fox News’ Peter Doocy. On “The Five,” host Jesse Watters quipped that Jean-Pierre “talks like a binder” and has repeated the same canned lines and purported deflections over and over.
“I’m sorry, I’m going to have to refer you to the White House counsel,” he replied in jest to co-host Brian Kilmeade after being asked about Kirby’s receptiveness questions about Biden’s classified documents scandal.
“You can only use that line in special moments. That can’t be your answer for every single question. And that’s why Kirby is quality,” Watters added.
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White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and John Kirby arrive at a White House daily news briefing at the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Kilmeade pointed to an exchange between Doocy and Jean-Pierre in which the correspondent referenced something Kirby had stated at a prior briefing about the Biden documents situation, to which the press secretary questioned where Doocy had heard the statement.
When Doocy indicated the source was Kirby, Jean-Pierre referred him to the White House counsel’s office for any further clarification.
“Kirby has the wherewithal to be able to dance and dip appropriately and talk like a human being,” Watters said. “[Jean-Pierre] can’t talk like a human being. She talks like a binder.”
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Then-Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby holds a news briefing (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
The “Jesse Watters Primetime” host added he believes Jean-Pierre’s job performance could lead to her departure from the White House in the coming months.
He also referenced how first lady Jill Biden appeared to block her husband from a reporter’s shouted question about the classified material saga at a recent White House event.
“[M]an, does Joe need a lot of help,” he quipped.
Judge Jeanine Pirro added Jeani-Pierre is either “complicit in blocking the information” from the public or simply “inaccurate” in her position presidential attorneys must field such a proportion of the press’ questions.
“[D]uring the Russia collusion investigation, they answered [questions] all the time,” she later added in-part.
“But the most important thing is their own self-esteem. I mean, how does the woman go out there? Did she not know how embarrassing it is, how she looks ridiculous?”