Biden learned about Donald Trump’s historic indictment from new Chief of Staff Jeff Zients — and received NO special attention, White House says
- Zients informed Biden of the news after learning of media reports
- He didn’t get a head’s up, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said
- Biden himself said on Friday that he had ‘no comment on Trump’
President Joe Biden learned of news Thursday that a grand jury in Manhattan had indicted his predecessor Donald Trump through his new top aide — who found out through press releases, the White House said Friday.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters who traveled with the president on Friday about how he learned of the historic news.
“Look, we found out — all of us, including the president, found out about the news yesterday, just like every other American, through the news reports,” Jean-Pierre said on his way with Biden to review Mississippi tornado damage.
She then amended her statement to say that Biden learned second hand through his top aide.
President Joe Biden learned of the indictment against Donald Trump from White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients, the White House said Friday. Biden had no comment on Trump’s indictment when asked about it on Friday
“His chief of staff, Jeff Zients, let him know through media reports what had happened, just like—again, as you all found out.”
She underlined that Biden “didn’t get heads up. Again, through media reports, that’s how we heard about the charges 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 had been briefed on the matter or whether the administration was prepared for civil unrest.
The president certainly supports – and we’ve said this many times before – Americans who want to protest peacefully. And I’m just not going to get into speculation from here on what may or may not happen,” she said.
“Obviously we are always prepared. This administration is – and this government is always prepared. But we won’t get into speculation from here on out.’
Biden ‘wasn’t briefed,’ White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said
White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients delivered the news to Biden
A Manhattan grand jury has voted to indict former President Donald Trump over hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels
Donald Trump called the indictment ‘unthinkable’
Trump had called for protests earlier this month, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) called for protests on Friday, saying she would be in New York if Trump were arrested on Tuesday.
She also wouldn’t address voters who heard Trump’s claim that the allegations are political. Trump and his team have called it a “witch hunt.”
Jean-Pierre said it was “not something we’re going to comment on.”
She stressed that Biden was an arm’s length from the information on a day when the president refused to comment on the subject despite multiple attempts by reporters to get him to talk.
“I have no comment on Trump,” he said as he left the White House.