Biden Administration Sidesteps Questions on Speaker Johnson’s Attendance at Trump Trial

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to comment on Speaker of the House Mike Johnson’s appearance at former President Donald Trump’s trial in New York during Tuesday’s press briefing.

When asked about the appropriateness of Speaker Johnson attending the trial, Jean-Pierre stated, “So, look, I can’t speak to — don’t want to comment, obviously, as this is related to the 2024 elections. And I can’t speak to the speaker’s schedule. That is something for him to decide on. And let’s not forget, this is also connected to an independent judicial process, so going to be really mindful. And he makes his choices on what he does, you know, with his business. That is his choice to be made.”

Jean-Pierre pivoted to discuss the Biden administration’s focus on economic issues, particularly the president’s stance on 301 tariffs. “What I can speak to is obviously what the president is — is speaking to today as it relates to 301 tariffs, making sure that he’s protecting American workers, protecting American businesses, making sure that when we’re allowed to compete in a fair way, we can thrive. And that’s what you heard from this president,” she said.

She contrasted the administration’s priorities with those of Congressional Republicans. “What we’ve learned and we’ve seen from what the speaker is obviously leading in — with Congressional Republicans is that they want to cut Medicare. They want to cut Social Security. They want to get rid of things that the American people truly, truly care about. And so, our focus is going to continue to build an economy from the bottom up, the middle out,” Jean-Pierre added.

Jean-Pierre emphasized the administration’s commitment to economic growth and criticized Republican policies. “I think the contrast between what we do here and what Republicans more broadly, Republicans in Congress do, is — I think couldn’t be more stark,” she concluded.