Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre why the victims of the Covenant School shooting in Nashville, Tennessee, received no invite to the White House during Wednesday’s briefing.
The White House invited the three Democratic Tennessee state lawmakers who participated in a gun control protest in the state capitol on March 30. The state House of Representatives voted to expel Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson, while Rep. Gloria Johnson survived the vote for her expulsion.
Doocy pressed Jean-Pierre as to why the families of the six victims fatally shot in the school have not received an invite to the White House.
“So Monday, you’re gonna have three of the lawmakers who protested—” Doocy began.
“Peacefully protested,” Jean-Pierre pushed back.
“Who peacefully protested after the Nashville Covenant School shooting,” Doocy continued. “Have any of the victims or the victims’ families been invited to the White House?” (RELATED: Biden’s ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban Would Not Have Stopped Nashville Mass Shooting, Experts Say)
“I don’t have anything to read out to you about any invite,” the press secretary said.
“Why?” Doocy asked.
“I just don’t have anything at this time to read out to you about any invite,” she answered. “What I can say to you right now is that the president is focused on getting things done. He’s focused on making sure that we are protecting our communities, that we’re protecting our schools, that we’re protecting our churches, we’re protecting our grocery stores that people as we know in Buffalo went to a grocery store on a Saturday and got murdered.”
The press secretary said the legislators, often referred to as the “Tennessee Three,” are arriving at the White House to address ways to prevent gun violence in public places. She then said President Joe Biden is pressuring congressional Republicans to show “courage” by banning “assault weapons.”
“He [Biden] continues to put pressure on Congress to get things done,” she said. “Make sure they’re showing some courage — Republicans in Congress — to make sure that we’re banning assault weapons. We cannot have weapons of war in our streets, we cannot have weapons of war in our schools, and so that’s why he’s bring them there. He’s bringing them here to continue that conversation.”
Jones and Pearson were later reinstated to their seats after two local commissions voted unanimously to lift their expulsions. The expulsions occurred after a group consisting of hundreds of protesters attempted to push through the troopers. One male protesters stormed through and was immediately taken into custody.