What a difference seven hours makes.
Wednesday morning, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski Secret Service director Julia Pierson was “more than qualified” for her job and talked highly of the head of the agency.
All of this coming on the heels of her disastrous performance before the House Oversight committee early Tuesday, along with a string of damaging reports.
“She’s more than qualified to do her job. She’s somebody who has a very difficult responsibility… What you saw her do yesterday was take responsibility for the shortcomings that are evident,” said Earnest.
“(The president) continues to have confidence in the ability of the leadership of the Secret Service to protect him and his family, and to implement the necessary reforms to strengthen that security,” the White House spokesman continued.
The White House spokesman also praised Pierson, noting “she took responsibility” for the individual who jumped the White House fence and made it all the way into the East Room of the White House.
However, during his mid-afternoon press conference, Earnest changed his tune when pressed by the Associated Press’ Jim Kuhnhenn.
Earnest said President Obama agreed with Director Pierson, telling the press corps the president agreed that “new leadership” was needed.
Pierson received fire from all corners at the Tuesday hearing, specifically from House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, Elijah Cummings, and Trey Gowdy. (RELATED: Trey Gowdy Slams Dem Rep. For Blaming Secret Service Issues On Sequestration)
“This is just processing a crime scene, director, this is not high math. It is processing a crime scene,” said Gowdy, pointing to the aftermath of the discovery of shots fired at the White House in November, 2011. “You actually don’t need 18 weeks of training to be able to do that. You just need to walk around.”
Earnest also noted that Joseph Clancy will be the acting director of the Secret Service “until a more permanent replacement can be found.”