White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had to shut down a frustrated reporter during her Thursday press briefing when the reporter became outraged at having her question ignored repeatedly.
In the final minutes of the briefing, Jean-Pierre had called on another reporter to ask the final question, leading the frustrated reporter to erupt and shout her own questions over Jean-Pierre’s protests.
“I was supposed to go to Chris in the back and I skipped him, so I’m going to go back to him,” the press secretary said, prompting the frustration.
“I’ve been asking you a question for a long time,” the frustrated reporter said as the other attempted to begin his question.
Jean-Pierre then cut her off, saying, “You’re not being respectful,” before continuing to the reporter she had called on, saying for him to “Go ahead.”
However, this only added to the reporter’s frustration, continuing to yell that she had been trying to ask the press secretary a question for “more than a week.”
“Respect your colleagues. Respect your colleagues,” Jean-Pierre responded. “I’m sorry, Chris, you’re going to have to start from the beginning because there was some disrespect happening.”
When the reporter continued talking over her colleague, Jean-Pierre simply repeated, “You’re being disrespectful.”
The incident is just the latest in a long list of frustrations that members of the White House press pool have expressed towards Jean-Pierre, who replaced former press secretary Jen Psaki earlier this year. While Psaki came across as a confident, collected, and a formidable foe for the Biden administration’s critics, Jean-Pierre has been the subject of consistent criticism since her installation into the role in May.
RTM previously reported that members of the group had complained about Jean-Pierre’s tendency to give non-answers, state outright that the White House has no comment on news of the day, or admit she doesn’t know the answers to certain things in press briefings, a cardinal sin among press secretaries.
“If your M.O. is going to be reading prepared answers, you should have a lot of prepared answers so that you’re not just deferring to reporters constantly,” said one White House reporter at the time.
“She is poorly received as she isn’t taking time to answer questions or banter with reporters on the issues of the day,” said another. “A press secretary has to share some information, kind of a give and take, but she just doesn’t appear willing to do that yet. … Too often, she is telling reporters that she ‘has nothing from the podium’ to say, which is a waste of everyone’s time.”
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