Come Again? Karine Jean-Pierre Says She Misheard Anti-Semitism Question During White House Briefing
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Come Again? Karine Jean-Pierre Says She Misheard Anti-Semitism Question During White House Briefing

Karine Jean-Pierre, Antisemitism
(Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre is under fire for what lawmakers called a “weak” response to a question over the concern of the rise in anti-Semitism, Politico reports.

At an Oct. 23 briefing, Jean-Pierre said the White House had not seen “any credible threats” when a reporter asked about the administration’s level of concern about increasing anti-Semitism. She then continued to address “hate-fueled attacks” against Muslim and Arab Americans.

In a statement, Jean-Pierre admitted to mishearing the question.

“As I have footstomped many times from the podium and on the air, anti-Semitism is an abomination that this president has fought against his entire life, and I feel strongly about that work,” she said. “That’s why, in the briefing room, I have blasted the repulsive increase in antisemitic rhetoric, conspiracy theories, and hate crimes in our nation, calling out that, tragically, this is a rising threat.”

Congressman Jared Moskowitz (D-FL), who is Jewish, called Jean-Pierre out on X, formerly known as Twitter, over her answer.

During a CNN interview, another Jewish congresswoman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) said Jean-Pierre’s response was “clearly a whiff” and alluded to the fact that President Biden “could not possibly be standing more strongly with Israel.”

After the death of 6-year-old Wadea Al-Fayoume, Biden denounced anti-Semitism and Islamophobia during a speech. “We can’t stand by and stand silent when this happens,” he said.

According to Fox News, data released by the FBI on Oct. 16, shows that hate crimes in 2022 rose to 11,634, the highest number ever recorded since tracking started in 1991. Single-bias anti-Jewish hate crime incidents steeply increased to over 37%, reaching 1,122 incidents, the highest recorded number in 30 years.

Attorney General Merrick Garland has instructed lawyers across the country to keep in contact with state and local officials for threats against Jewish, Muslim, and Arab communities.

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