Karine Jean-Pierre hit from all sides as White House ‘correspondents erupt’ at briefing: ‘Frustration evident’

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White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s fiery back-and-forth with members of the press was a hot topic Monday.

Reporters largely focused on reports that Dr. Kevin Cannard, a neurologist from Walter Reed Military Medical Center who specializes in Parkinson’s disease, met several times with Biden’s physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, in the White House over the past year.

But during the daily press briefing, Jean-Pierre repeatedly would not confirm Cannard’s name as the visiting doctor to reporters, citing security and privacy concerns despite the fact that Cannard was listed in the public visitor logs.

Multiple reporters, particularly CBS’ Ed O’Keefe, quickly called her out for avoiding naming the doctor.


White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre fields questions from reporters during the press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 8, 2024. (REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)


The two got into a lengthy, tense back and forth, with O’Keefe getting an assist from NBC correspondent Kelly O’Donnell, who also stressed that Cannard’s visitor logs are public.

“There’s no reason to go back and forth with me in this aggressive way,” Jean-Pierre scolded the reporters. 

“Well, we are miffed around here about what has been shared with the press corps about him,” an exasperated O’Keefe said. Several other reporters went on to grill Jean-Pierre about the name of the doctor and the nature of his visits.

Jean-Pierre addressed her exchange with O’Keefe later during the press briefing, saying, “I do take offense to what Ed alluded to… to say that I’m holding information or allude to anything else is not [fair]. It’s really, really unfair.”

She further characterized the pushback as “personal attacks.” 

Some White House correspondents later commented about the exchanges on their respective networks. CNN’s Kayla Tausche recounted the experience, noting there was frustration throughout the press corps.

“It was an extremely contentious mood in the room with frustration evident among the press corps for how hard it was to get very basic answers about whether the president had been seen any more than three times by this specialist, who has specialties in neurology but also expertise in Parkinson‘s and who they had been treating,” Tausche said.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre

Multiple reporters criticized Karine Jean-Pierre’s response to their questions Monday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

She continued, “When asked specifically for yes or no answers on whether the president was seen on any other occasions by this specialist, there was no answer on that and that was, I think, one of the most frustrating responses to the press corps and one of the reasons why you saw a few correspondents erupt there. There are still many more questions than answers on this front.”

ABC’s Selina Wang also spoke about the “very testy exchanges” that took place in the briefing room, especially over whether Biden was seeing a Parkinson’s specialist.

“She could not answer that very simple question with either a yes or no,” Wang reported.

The White House press corps turning against Jean-Pierre and her refusal to directly answer questions went viral across X.

“Wow. 3.5 years into the Biden presidency and the corrupt liberal media has officially turned on the White House. These reporters are eating Karine Jean-Pierre alive,” former Trump advisor Steve Cortes remarked.

RedState writer Bonchie commented, “This is incredible. It’s like the end of the Matrix when Agent Smith realizes his bullets no longer work on Neo. Jean-Pierre has no idea what to do now that the press aren’t responding to her schoolmarm routine.”

“We cannot disclose if the President has been tested for Parkinsons because of national security. Incredible to watch this all unravel with even just the littlest bit of ‘respectful’ push back,” The Spectator contributing editor Stephen Miller agreed.

Radio host Buck Sexton wrote, “Not sure which is more amusing: KJP’s preposterous dodging of questions about Biden dementia, or the Press Pool having a hissy fit for looking like worthless clowns over it.”

“They’ve been lying all along,” Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., declared.

“Watching the DC press corps get frustrated with the way KJP has run literally every single press briefing ever sure is a thing,” podcast host Noam Blum commented.


Biden walks near White House

Karine Jean-Pierre avoided directly answering whether Biden was seeing the neurologist who was making visits to the White House. (AP/Susan Walsh)

“This is a beautiful trainwreck,” writer Scott Adams mused.

Republican communicator Erin Perrine wrote, “KJP has lost operational control of the briefing room because of her lack of honesty with the White House press corps. She is arguing with reporters about their questions. Not easy to get on the wrong side of this incredibly professional press corps but KJP has done so today.”


Fox News’ Joseph Wulfsohn contributed to this report.

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