White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended making false statements at the podium regarding the ongoing investigation into President Biden's handling of classified documents Thursday.
Jean-Pierre insisted that she has been "consistent" in relying on the guidance of the White House Counsel's Office. She has faced heavy criticism in recent weeks after assuring reporters that searches for more classified documents had ended, only for more documents to be uncovered just days later.
"Statements from this podium at different points later proved to be inaccurate," a reporter began. "[Could you] assure us that you challenge this element of that narrative, that you are satisfied personally with the accuracy of all the information that you have dispensed from this podium?"
"At this podium I will always follow the guidance of the White House Counsel's Office," Jean-Pierre responded. "I have been consistent about that."
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Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily briefing at the White House on Jan. 20, 2023. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)
President Biden listens to a question during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Jan. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
"When I have made statements from this podium on this investigation it was at the guidance of the White House Counsel's Office and consistent with what they have said and wanted to communicate at the time," she added. "I have continued to provide the information I have had at the time, and I will continue to do that."
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Jean-Pierre's response comes more than a week after reporters took her to task for claiming the search for classified documents had ended on Jan. 13. In reality, the search for more documents is still ongoing.
"Did you not know on Friday that those additional documents had been found when you were at the podium or were you being directed by someone to not be forthcoming on this issue?" a reporter pressed during a Jan. 17 press conference.
"I have been forthcoming from this podium," Jean-Pierre responded at the time. "What I said ‘yes’ to was what the statement at the time was – what we all had. You all had the statement, and I was repeating what the [White House] counsel was saying at the time."
President Joe Biden’s home in Rehoboth, Delaware, on Jan. 12, 2023. (Dario Alequin for Fox News Digital)
Biden's lawyers first uncovered a batch of misplaced classified documents in November at the Washington offices of the Penn Biden Center think tank. That discovery would not be made public until December, however, after investigators found two more stashes of classified documents at Biden's home in Wilmington, Delaware.
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It was at that stage that Jean-Pierre claimed the search was over on Jan. 13, only for it to be revealed that lawyers had found a third stash just days before she made the claim.
Anders Hagstrom is a reporter with Fox News Digital covering national politics and major breaking news events. Send tips to [email protected], or on Twitter: @Hagstrom_Anders.