White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Monday refused to call anti-Israel protestors on college campuses across America “extremists,” despite antisemitic rhetoric, violence, and rising fear among Jewish students.
The exchange took place during the White House press briefing when Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked Jean-Pierre over whether President Biden saw those protestors as “extremists.”
“What I can say is — what we’ve been very clear about this when it comes to antisemitism, there is no place. We have to make sure that we speak against it very loud and be very clear about that,” Jean-Pierre said, adding that Biden decided to run for president in 2017 as a result of the violent Charlottesville, Virginia protest clash that year.
“He saw neo-Nazis marching down the streets of Charlottesville with vile, anti-Semitic, just hatred. And he was very clear then, and he’s very clear now. He’s taken actions against this over the past two years. And he’s continued to be clear: There is no place, no place for this type of vile — and this kind of rhetoric,” she said.
Doocy pressed Jean-Pierre, saying, “We hear you guys though talk about extremists all the time. It is usually about MAGA extremists. So what about these protesters who are making Jewish students feel unsafe on college campuses?”
“I have been very, very clear. We are calling out any form of hate, any form of hate. It is not acceptable. It should not be acceptable here. And we are going to continue to call that out,” she said, again refusing to say whether the protestors were “extremists.”
“And let me be very clear: This is a president that has continued to have that fight in his office, in this administration. You know, when he repealed Trump’s Muslim ban on his very first day in office. That is something that this president did,” she said, naming other actions she said Biden had taken to combat antisemitism, Islamophobia and discrimination.
Doocy then asked whether Biden saw the protests as youth just getting involved or if he thought the next generation was “doomed,” but Jean-Pierre dodged again.
“Here’s the thing. There’s no place for hate in America,” she said.
“But I’m curious what he thinks?” Doocy jumped in.
“But I’m telling you, there’s no place for hate in America. And we condemn any anti-Semitic threat or incident in the strongest terms. And you heard me say at the top, I gave a message to students who are feeling — who are feeling under threat right now. We’re tracking these threats very closely. We are there for them. No student should have to be able to go to class, live on campus in fear,” Jean-Pierre responded.
She added that “reported antisemitic incidents” had to be condemned.
Scroll down to leave a comment: