White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre had an unfortunately tongue-tying moment on MSNBC this morning while trying to express the president’s sympathy for the families of three fallen servicemembers who were killed by a drone attack in Jordan.
The press secretary struggled badly to convey a basic message of condolence following a Saturday night strike that killed three and wounded 34 more at a small U.S. outpost in Jordan, marking the first time American soldiers have been killed in the Middle East since the start of Israel’s war with Gaza.
“Obviously our deepest condolences go out, and our heartfelt condolences go out to the families who lost three.. three brave… three brave, uh… three brave of… three folks who are… who are military folks who are brave, who are always fighting, who are fighting on behalf of, uh, this administration, of the American people,” she stuttered.
The clip was circulated by the Republican National Committee and quickly mocked online.
Is this whole administration on the same drugs??
— Crystal Green (@baking49) January 29, 2024
No, they are not your soldiers. They support and defend the Constitution, not your Administration.
— Gehrig Wiles (@WilesGehrig) January 29, 2024
I swear I thought the video glitched.
— Chris (@subieboys2) January 29, 2024
“We shall respond,” President Joe Biden said late Sunday when asked about the attack, carried out by Iran-backed militants from Syria intent on expanding the Israel-Gaza war into the wider Middle East.
We know it was carried out by radical Iran-backed militant groups operating in Syria and Iraq,” Biden said according to CNN.
“These service members embodied the very best of our nation: Unwavering in their bravery. Unflinching in their duty. Unbending in their commitment to our country — risking their own safety for the safety of their fellow Americans, and our allies and partners with whom we stand in the fight against terrorism. … [H]ave no doubt – we will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner our choosing.”
Military officials have described a constant barrage of drones and missiles against American forces stationed in Iraq and Syria, totaling at least 158 attacks as of Friday. The vast majority have been unsuccessful, he added, but require a constant defensive posture while also trying to pursue American interests.
Jean-Pierre, who has been the president’s top spokesperson for under a year, has come under fire for similar verbal stumbles about concerns over his age and losing her cool about Biden’s misstatements.