White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre faced condemnation online after an initially hesitant response to a question about activists removing posters of hostages taken by Hamas terrorists.
Numerous videos have gone viral of activists tearing down posters showing hostages that were taken in the Oct. 7 terrorist attack that killed 1,400 in southern Israel.
A reporter noted to Jean-Pierre on Tuesday that there have been widely shared videos of individuals "tearing down signs" of Israelis currently being held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza. He proceeded to ask whether it is the White House’s view that "these actions should be condemned" or if the White House sees such activity as a "form of peaceful protest."
"I've sorta kinda seen the reporting," Jean-Pierre said. She went on to block further questioning from the reporter and declared, "I'm just not going to go into specifics on that particular thing."
"What I can say is there are real violent protests and threats that are happening right now and senior administration officials are aware of these reports which are deeply concerning and that is something that we’re focused on," she added.
This sparked a wave of backlash across social media.
"Are you kidding me? You call that an answer? This Administration is so weak they won’t denounce the people who tear down posters of hostages whose loved ones are crying out for support," former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer wrote. "It’s infuriating how feckless an answer this is."
"Incredible," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton wrote. "Biden WH afraid to confront the pro-terrorist left."
"2020: ‘Decency is on the ballot.’ 2023: Ripping down pictures of kidnapped Jewish children? ‘meh,’" Never Back Down national press secretary Dave Vasquez wrote.
"It’s obvious she despises Israel and Biden’s support of Israel," commentator David Marcus wrote.
"First KJP denies that there have been antisemitic threats and violence. Now she’s flippantly refusing to discuss that anti-Semites in America are desecrating posters of kidnapped Jewish children," Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., "Why won’t the White House clearly and convincingly condemn this vile conduct?"
"The easiest question botched again by the most incompetent press secretary to step foot in that room," radio host Jason Rantz wrote.
"Would she have no comment if this sickening trend aligned with the WH’s big new anti-‘Islamophobia’ push? We all know the answer," commentator Guy Benson wrote. "This evasion is disgusting."
"Try to think of a reasonable explanation why KJP couldn't respond to a question about the tearing down of anti-semitic posters," retired Army colonel James Hutton wrote.
Jean-Pierre appeared to acknowledge the vandalism of kidnapped Israeli posters and attempt to clean up her earlier answer with an X posting Tuesday afternoon.
"As a result of the Hamas terrorist attacks, communities and families are grieving. For the past month, the families of those who have been taken hostage have lived in agony," she wrote. "Tearing down pictures of their loved ones - who are being held hostage by Hamas - is wrong and hurtful."
Jean-Pierre did not immediately respond when contacted by Fox News Digital for additional comment.
Jean-Pierre was also criticized last month after she appeared to downplay a question about antisemitism and pivot to condemning attacks against Muslims. She later said she had misheard the question and called antisemitism abhorrent. Jean-Pierre has also called out the far-left "Squad" from the podium in an unusual display of intra-Democratic Party fighting, calling their remarks after the initial Hamas terrorist attacks "repugnant."
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