In a recent White House press conference, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre faced criticism for refusing to condemn hundreds of anti-Semites captured in viral videos pulling down posters of Israeli nationals who were kidnapped by Hamas.
Many viral videos have captured these acts, sparking outrage and debate about whether such actions should be condemned or considered a form of “peaceful protest.”
During the press conference, Jean-Pierre was asked whether the White House believes those responsible for tearing down the posters should be condemned or if their actions constitute a form of peaceful protest. Her response was met with some frustration as she initially seemed hesitant to address the issue directly.
“Look, I, eh, I, I, I’ve sort of kind of seen the reporting here and there, I think it was from last week, right?” Jean-Pierre replied when questioned about the matter.
The reporter pressed further, pointing out that there had been numerous videos circulating on the topic. Jean-Pierre acknowledged this and stated, “No, I know. I hear you. I hear you. I’m just not going to. We’re not going to, I’m not going–” Her response left the question hanging.
When questioned once more about whether people should be pulling down these posters, Jean-Pierre again refrained from providing a direct answer. Instead, she emphasized that the administration’s focus was on addressing “real violent protests and threats” currently taking place.
Despite repeated attempts to seek clarification, Jean-Pierre remained tight-lipped on the matter, causing social media users to pounce on her. “This Administration is so weak they won’t denounce the people who tear down posters of hostages whose loved ones are crying out for support,” former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer commented.
Are you kidding me?
You call that an answer?
This Administration is so weak they won’t denounce the people who tear down posters of hostages whose loved ones are crying out for support.
It’s infuriating how feckless an answer this is. https://t.co/026K39ocfJ
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) November 7, 2023
Following significant online backlash over her initial response, she later took to social media to address the issue directly in a post on X, condemning the act of tearing down the posters.
The post read, “As a result of the Hamas terrorist attacks, communities and families are grieving. For the past month, the families of those who have been taken hostage have lived in agony. Tearing down pictures of their loved ones—who are being held hostage by Hamas — is wrong and hurtful.”
As a result of the Hamas terrorist attacks, communities and families are grieving. For the past month, the families of those who have been taken hostage have lived in agony. Tearing down pictures of their loved ones – who are being held hostage by Hamas – is wrong and hurtful.
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@PressSec) November 7, 2023
Despite the attempt at a cleanup, she still suffered a backlash, as many social media users wondered why she could not outrightly condemn the unarguably terrible act on national TV.
When you suck so bad at answering simple questions the podium you have to tweet them instead… https://t.co/fV2xOm2HtJ
— Joey Jones (@Johnny_Joey) November 8, 2023
Why is it so difficult to say this from the podium on national TV? Why is always a message on X after the fact? https://t.co/WG8dNHapkQ
— DankeGlock (@DankeGlock) November 7, 2023