Biden learned about Donald Trump’s historic indictment from new chief of staff Jeff Zients — and he didn’t get a special chair, White House says
- Zients reported the news to Biden after learning from media reports
- White House press secretary Karen Jean-Pierre said he hadn’t thought of it
- Biden himself said Friday he had no comment on Trump
The White House said Friday that President Joe Biden learned of news Thursday that a Manhattan grand jury had indicted his predecessor Donald Trump by his new aide, who found out through press reports.
White House press secretary Karen Jean-Pierre told reporters traveling with the president on Friday about the mechanics of how he learned the historical news.
“Look, we — all of us, including the president, found out about the news yesterday, just like every other American, through news reports,” Jean-Pierre said on his way with Biden to view hurricane damage in Mississippi.
Then she amended her statement to say that Biden learned indirectly through his top aide.
The White House said Friday that President Joe Biden learned about Donald Trump’s indictment from White House chief of staff Jeff Zients. Biden did not comment on Trump’s indictment when asked about it on Friday
“His chief of staff, Jeff Zients, told him what happened through media reports, just like — again, just like you all found out.”
She emphasized that Biden “did not receive a heads-up.” Again, through media reports, this is how we learned about the indictment yesterday.
Zients, who previously served as Biden’s coronavirus coordinator, took up his new position in January, succeeding Chief of Staff Ron Klain.
She did not directly answer questions about whether Biden was briefed on the matter or whether the administration was prepared for any civil unrest.
“The president certainly — and we’ve said this many times before — he supports Americans who want peaceful protest. I’m not going to get into speculation from here about what may or may not happen,” she said.
Obviously we are always ready. This administration – and this government is always ready. But I won’t go into speculation from here.
The White House press secretary, Karen Jean-Pierre, said Biden “wasn’t given an opinion.”
White House chief of staff Jeff Zients gave the news to Biden
A Manhattan grand jury has voted to indict former President Donald Trump over payments to porn star Stormy Daniels.
Donald Trump called the indictment “inconceivable”
Trump called protests earlier this month, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) on Friday called protests and said she will be in New York when Trump’s arrest is scheduled Tuesday.
Nor did she engage with any voters who heard Trump’s claim that the charges were political. Trump and his team called it a “witch hunt.”
Jean-Pierre said it was “not something we’re going to comment on”.
And she stressed Biden’s arms’ length from the information on the day the president refused to engage on the subject, despite multiple attempts by reporters to get him to speak.
“I have no comment on Trump,” he said as he left the White House.