Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has responded to the backlash over the White House’s response to the Hawaii wildfires by claiming that Democrat President Joe Biden “reacted in record time” to the disaster.
Jean-Pierre made the claim during a Wednesday press briefing while gaslighting in response to criticisms over Biden’s apparent lack of interest in the disaster while he was on vacation.
“It seems like the hurricane response so far is robust,” Fox News reporter Peter Doocy said to Jean-Pierre.
“Did you guys realize that the initial Hawaii wildfire response was not that good or is it just easier for people to get help from the White House when the president is not on vacation?”
Jean-Pierre attempted to patronize Doocy as she disagreed with the premise of his question.
She tried to suggest that Doocy hadn’t done his job as a reporter because he didn’t speak to Hawaii officials, all of whom are Democrats, to get their take on Biden’s response.
“So, if you talk to — if you were to do your reporting and speak to the governor of Hawaii, the senators of Hawaii, the folks on the ground, they would say that the president reacted in record time when it came to dealing with the wildfires when it came to dealing and making sure that they got everything that they need on the federal level to deal with what was going on on the ground.”
“Let’s not forget, there were more than 600 federal employees on the ground already to assist with the wildfires in Maui,” she claimed.
“So, your question is — is wrong — it’s flawed in many, many ways.
“And I would — I would — I would advise you to go speak to the governor and the local and state officials in — in Hawaii.”
KJP to Doocy on whether #Idalia response is better than Hawaii's wildfires b/c Biden isn't on vacation: "So, the premise of your question & the way you posed [it], I disagree…If you talk to…the governor…the folks on the ground, they would say…[he] reacted in record time" pic.twitter.com/rhvoSsTFv9
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) August 30, 2023
However, despite Jean-Pierre’s gaslighting attempt, “folks on the ground” were outraged by Biden’s response.
As Slay News reported, Biden stirred up a backlash before he arrived to visit Maui after failing to comment on the fires because he was on vacation.
He was met with angry protesters who waved middle fingers, shouted insults, and held signs that said “no comment” at his motorcade.
“Go home Joe!” they yelled.
Others held up signs that read:
“ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS.”
“Where has the president been?“ said Dennis Mullen.
🚨 Maui residents gave Joe Biden a warm welcome to Hawaii today.
“Here he comes after 13 days.”
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) August 22, 2023
When Biden finally did visit Hawaii, he provoked an even deeper backlash from local residents after he cracked jokes and talked about himself while visiting Maui.
At one point, he compared the devastating wildfires to a small kitchen fire in his house several years ago.
He then joked that he almost lost his Corvette in the minor fire.
That did not sit well with many residents, however.
Many Hawaiians were outraged by Biden’s flippant attitude toward the disaster.
“Hearing Biden talk about his house that had a little fire,” one local resident said after the speech.
“You almost lost your cat and your Corvette?
“There were children who were incinerated into ash!
“You f–king old man. You vile human being.”
Maui resident sounds off:
"Hearing Biden talk about his house that had a little fire. You almost lost your cat and your corvette? There were children who were incinerated into ash! You f–king old man. You vile human being."
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) August 22, 2023