White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is defending the incoming White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre after old tweets surfaced showing she questioned the results of the elections in 2016 and 2018.
In a statement to Mediaite, Psaki said, “We all agree the 2018 election in Georgia is settled. And we’re also all concerned about voter suppression issues, including the President.”
“Kemp won and she sees that tweet as having oversimplified the problem,” she continued.
In an April 2020 tweet from her personal account, Jean-Pierre shared an article about Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R), stating that he did not know asymptomatic individuals can spread COVID-19.
“Reminder: Brian Kemp stole the gubernatorial election from Georgians and Stacey Abrams,” she wrote.
Reminder: Brian Kemp stole the gubernatorial election from Georgians and Stacey Abrams.https://t.co/ZIKGTd6U1v
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@K_JeanPierre) April 2, 2020
In 2018, after losing the gubernatorial election, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams claimed voter suppression played a role in the outcome.
“I will not concede, because the erosion of our democracy is not right,” she told her supporters.
However, Abrams added, “I acknowledge that former Secretary of State Brian Kemp will be certified the victor in the 2018 gubernatorial elections.”
According to USA Today, “While Abrams has maintained the 2018 gubernatorial election was unfair and tainted by voter suppression, there’s no empirical evidence that now-Gov. Kemp stole that election from her.”
“She did register over 800,000 new voters in time for the 2020 election, with help from other activists. We rate the claim PARTLY FALSE, because some of it is not supported by our research,” it added.
Psaki also addressed an even older tweet from Jean-Pierre in which she appeared to suggest that the 2016 presidential election was stolen.
“Stolen emails, stolen drone, stolen election …..welcome to the world of #unpresidented Trump,” Jean-Pierre wrote in December 2016.
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@K_JeanPierre) December 18, 2016
Psaki told Mediaite her successor “has affirmed that Donald Trump won in 2016, too. Like so many of us, Karine was concerned about the U.S. intelligence community’s unanimous finding that Russia intervened to help Trump. But he won.”
“Just like four years later Joe Biden won the most votes of anyone in American history,” she added. “She’s aligned with the President that people should admit who won regardless of preference.”
Finally, Psaki addressed a video that resurfaced that showed Jean-Pierre calling Fox News racist.
“This is a years-old clip of Karine, referring to an opinion host – not a reporter – when she was not in government and not speaking on behalf of the president,” Psaki said.
She added that Jean-Pierre “has shown at the White House many times already” that she will “follow the guidance of the President in engaging with a range of reporters from a broad range of outlets, including Fox, even when there are different points of view.”
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