Fox News’ Peter Doocy pressed John Kirby, the National Security Council strategic communications coordinator, at Wednesday’s briefing after Karine Jean-Pierre refused to engage.
Doocy first asked Kirby how difficult it is to exit government facilities with classified material in light of the ongoing investigation into the documents in President Joe Biden’s possession by special counsel Robert Hur. In response, Kirby broke down how a government official is required to handle classified information inside a sensitive compartmented information facility [SCIF].
“Everybody who goes into a SCIF knows what the requirements are to go in and knows you can’t bring personal devices in and you certainly can’t leave with material unless that material is appropriately secured,” Kirby responded.
“And usually what happens to someone in the chain of command if they do leave with classified material that they’re not supposed to have or that is not secure?” Doocy asked.
“If you do it inadvertently or you realize you don’t have it secured in a locked bag, you self-report, which is exactly what the president did, self-reported,” said Kirby. “But you self-report and you make sure that you get the material back securely where it belongs and that you’re transparent about it.”
The president’s personal counsel found roughly ten documents with classification markings inside the Biden Penn Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The discovery led to searches of his home in Wilmington, Delaware, where more classified documents were found in Biden’s garage during a Dec. 20 during search, and more were eventually found throughout January 2023.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has repeatedly referred reporters to the White House Counsel’s Office—who is taking part in investigating and disclosing information about the case—or the Department of Justice (DOJ). (RELATED: Jean-Pierre Punts To DOJ As Reporters Grill White House On Biden Docs Investigation)
During Tuesday’s briefing, Doocy asked Jean-Pierre a series of questions related to the documents. Jean-Pierre kept referring him to the White House counsel’s office after Doocy specifically asked about Biden’s actions in his private home following the discovery of the documents and whether it would hurt the president’s chances of re-election in 2024.
He previously asked how Biden could be “that irresponsible” with handling classified material. The press secretary said the president takes classified information “very seriously” and that he rightfully turned the documents over to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to be reviewed by the DOJ.
“He had a closet with classified information in it that they found,” Doocy argued at the Jan. 11 briefing. “How did it get there? Did the lawyers do the right thing?”