‘How Is That Possible?’: Doocy Grills KJP On Lack Of Communication With Border Officials

[Screenshot/White House press briefing]

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy grilled White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on President Joe Biden’s lack of communication with border officials during the continual border crisis.

Raul Ortiz, the former Chief of Border Patrol, said Biden never met with him once throughout the two years he served in the position. The president met the current Chief of Border Patrol Jason Owens for the first time during his visit to the border in Brownsville, Texas, on Thursday.

“How’s President Biden gonna fix the border if he can go years without talking to the head of Border Patrol?” Doocy asked.

“He was literally just with the head of the Chief of Border Patrol just this past Thursday in Brownsville, Texas. You all reported it, you all saw it, he was with the Chief Owens,” Jean-Pierre replied.

“The chief was in charge for two years before that said ‘I’ve never had one conversation with the president or the vice president,’ how is that possible?” Doocy asked.

“So, one thing I will say, you’re talking about Chief Ortiz, so he was invited I believe to participate in the president’s first trip to visit El Paso which was back in January of 2023 and he did not attend,” the press secretary said. “He was invited, he did not attend. What I can say is that you saw the president with the present chief which I think is important because we are dealing with challenges at the border because the president has made that a priority with the Senate, in a bipartisan way, to come up with a way to move forward on the border, on immigration. Republicans rejected it because of what the former president, Donald Trump, told them to do. Told them to reject that proposal.” (RELATED: ‘How Is That Possible?’: Martha MacCallum Presses Kirby On Why Biden Had Never Spoken To Ex-Border Patrol Chief)

Jean-Pierre referred to the Emergency National Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, a long-awaited Senate bill intended to shut down the border if the average number of entries exceeded 5,000 persons per day and hire more Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection agents. The bill further allocated billions in aid toward Ukraine and Israel. Senate Republicans blocked the bill from advancing in a Feb. 7 vote, and House Speaker Mike Johnson said the bill would be “dead on arrival.”

Doocy then asked if Biden would publicly address the death of 22-year-old nursing student Laken Riley, who allegedly died at the hands of an illegal Venezuelan migrant named Jose Antonio Ibarra. Jean-Pierre said there are no plans to publicly address her death, but assured they will “lift up” her family.

Former President Donald Trump said he spoke with Riley’s parents and criticized Biden for not having contacted her parents.

A Gallup poll found immigration to be the most important problem among its respondents. A total of 28% of respondents said immigration was the most important problem facing the U.S. in February, while the government came in second with 20%. This is the first time since 2019 that immigration sprung to being the most prioritized issue.