A reporter actually asked Karine Jean-Pierre a touch question during the White House press briefing on Wednesday.
Phillip Wegmann of Real Clear News asked KJP if Biden is planning to drink the water in East Palestine, Ohio when he finally visits there in February. The question left KJP stammering for a moment before she launched into a typical word-salad answer.
People in East Palestine made viral videos of what appeared to be chemicals in the water after the disaster, despite officials declaring that the water was safe.
Real Clear Politics provides a transcript:
PHIL WEGMANN, REALCLEARPOLITICS: Has the White Houe coordinated or discussed with DOJ any type of damage settlement or compensation for folks there who were affected by the derailment?
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: I don’t have any specifics there, I would have to refer you to the Department of Justice on that piece. Obviously, we want to make sure that Norfolk [Southern] is held to account, we’re going to make sure that happens. We are determined to get that done. I think you’ve heard that from the Department of Transportation and Secretary Buttigieg, you’ve heard that from us many times, we want to make sure that they pay for the derailment that they caused. Obviously, that is a priority.
WEGMANN: And then next month, when the president is in East Palestine, will he drink the water there?
JEAN-PIERRE: I mean, look, what I can tell you is the president’s focus has been to do everything he can to support this community from day one. We get what’s going on on the ground, we understand what’s going on, that’s why we had the EPA and DOT and HHS and FEMA on the ground, you know, this is not about some sort of political stunt here. This is not about this president being a president for everyone and showing up, showing up for this community. That’s what this is about.
I’m not going to get into some sort of political stunts about drinking water. We’re going to focus on making sure they have what they need. The president was invited by the mayor nd community leaders, he’s going to show up. He always said he’d be there when it was most helpful.
Here’s the video:
.@PhilipWegmann: “And then, next month, when the President is in East Palestine, will he drink the water there?”
KJP: “I mean, look, what I can tell you is the President’s focus has been to do everything that he can to support this community from day one. We get what’s going on… pic.twitter.com/CS4Gm1vTAz
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) January 31, 2024
Critics have pointed out that the only reason Biden is finally going there is because it’s an election year.