White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre is not sharing whether she believes Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) needs to clarify her comments about Hamas’ sexual violence.
During a segment of “The View” Tuesday, co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin asked the press secretary about Jayapal’s view that outrage about sexual violence by Hamas on Oct. 7 should be balanced out.
“The House Democrats are planning to introduce a resolution this week, both condemning the use of rape in war against Israeli women, seemingly in response to [the] Progressive Caucus chairwoman’s comments this past weekend — Rep. Jayapal — basically saying we need to be balanced in our criticism, which was interpreted by many, myself included, to downplay the horrors of the actions of Oct. 7th,” Griffin said.
She asked, “Does the White House support this resolution, and do you think the representative needs to clarify her remarks?”
“So, look, I’m going to let the representative speak for herself. I just can’t speak for her. I speak for the President of the United States. I am the White House press secretary, obviously, so that’s who I speak for,” Jean-Pierre responded.
She went on, “What I can say, and I said this in Sara [Haines]’s question when I answered it, which… when it comes to rape, that’s reprehensible. When it comes to using rape as a weapon of war, that’s reprehensible. We are very, very clear about denouncing Hamas’ actions. And that’s what the president has been clear about.”
Watch the video below:
Karine Jean-Pierre on Democrat Rep. Pramila Jayapal insisting "we have to be balanced" in outrage against Hamas using rape as a weapon of war:— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) December 5, 2023
"I'll let the representative speak for herself. I just can't speak for her." pic.twitter.com/evMdG0k7xS
Griffin pressed, “Do you think because of her perch, though, as a progressive leader, she should clarify her remarks?”
“I speak for the president. She has to speak for herself,” Jean-Pierre answered.
During an interview on CNN on Sunday, Jayapal was asked about accusations progressives have been silent about Hamas’ brutal acts of sexual violence during the Oct. 7 attacks.
She began by stating she has condemned such atrocities, but quickly pivoted to state, “Israel is a democracy. That is why they are a strong ally of ours. And if they do not comply with international humanitarian law, they are bringing themselves to a place that makes it much more difficult strategically for them to be able to build the kinds of allies to keep public opinion with them.”
“I think that rape is horrific. Sexual assault is horrific. I think that it happens in war situations. Terrorist organizations like Hamas obviously are using these as tools,” she added. “I think we have to be balanced about bringing in the outrages against Palestinians. Fifteen thousand Palestinians have been killed in Israeli airstrikes, three-quarters of whom are women and children.”