Twitter publishes posts in which White House spokeswoman pushed to overturn Trump’s victory, says her favorite candidates were stolen
White House press secretary Jen Psaki spent part of her last day at work trying to explain to her successor, whose history of claiming the election was stolen may seem out of step with a administration that characterized the questioning of the results of the vote as “threat to democracy”.
The question surfaced this week, when old Twitter posts surfaced in which new press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre argued that Georgia’s 2016 presidential election and 2018 gubernatorial race were over. “Fly” by the Republican victors. She also used a hashtag “#unprecedented” in reference to President-elect Donald Trump in 2016, and she promoted efforts to block certification of Trump’s victory by denying him the electoral votes he won.
President Joe Biden and his supporters, including Psaki, have repeatedly called contesting the election results a “threat to democracy”. And the voter fraud protest that escalated into a violent riot on the US Capitol in January 2021 – seeking to block certification of Biden’s victory – was “the worst attack on our democracy since the civil war”, according to the president.
But faced with Jean-Pierre’s tweets, Psaki gave her successor a free pass. Jean Pierre “claimed Donald Trump won in 2016,” PSAKI told Mediaite on Friday. “Like many of us, Karine was concerned about the unanimous conclusion of the US intelligence community that Russia stepped in to help Trump. But he won.
I’m honored that @POTUS trusted me to speak on his behalf. the @White House is about people. I am deeply grateful to the officials (including my favorites from the press team) who have made this job the experience of a lifetime. you have this @KJP46! Follow me @jrpsakipic.twitter.com/N4Upj8MOeM
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@PressSec) May 13, 2022
As for Jean-Pierre’s claim that Georgia Governor Brian Kemp stole his 2018 victory, Psaki said, “We all agree that the 2018 election in Georgia is settled. And we’re also all concerned about voter suppression issues, including the president. Kemp won, and she considers this tweet to have oversimplified the issue.
PSAKI also defended Jean-Pierre’s attack on Fox News in 2020, in which the veteran Democratic activist accused Fox News of being “racist” — a comment that questioned whether she could deal fairly with the White House press corps. “This is a years old clip of Karine, referring to an opinion leader – not a journalist – when she wasn’t in government and speaking on behalf of the president,” said Psaki.
Then again, Psaki also defended Biden himself after the president suggested earlier this year that the midterm elections – which many expect will go badly for Democrats – “Could easily be illegitimate.” The press secretary became less condemnatory of election skepticism, saying of Biden’s comment, “Well, voters should have their eyes wide open and their eyes clear, and that’s what the president was hearing the other night, that people are trying to make it harder for them to vote.”
At least as recently as June 2019, Jean-Pierre was still challenging Trump’s 2020 victory, promoting a claim that the Republican “didn’t really win the election” and was “put into operation because the Russians intervened.” The complaint came more than two months after the release of a report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose exhaustive investigation found no evidence of collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign. Before this discovery, she had repeatedly used the hashtag “#MuellerTime,” alluding to the damning conclusions that Trump’s critics expected from the special counsel.
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