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White House. Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre January 9 2024

Concise Overview

1. Karine Jean-Pierre warns of severe weather across the country and urges vigilance and adherence to local warnings.

2. President’s visit to Allentown, Pennsylvania, to discuss economic growth.

3. Admiral John Kirby discusses Russia’s use of North Korean missiles in Ukraine and the international response.

4. Emphasis on Congress to approve supplemental funding for Ukraine to provide vital air defense capabilities.

5. President Biden informed about Defense Secretary Austin’s prostate cancer diagnosis and the timeline of shared information.

6. Delegation of authority from Secretary Austin to his deputy during hospitalization, with a memo outlining protocols for such delegations.

7. Confidence expressed in Secretary Austin’s leadership and a review of the communication process is underway.

8. The Pentagon referred to the surgery as elective, with discussions on the potential misleading nature of this wording.

9. Speaker addresses concerns about President Biden’s ability to lead and the military’s readiness to defend national security.

10. Discussion on the handling of information within the Department of Defense and the need for transparency and accountability.

The White House official video.

Detailed Summary


In the video, Karine Jean-Pierre addresses severe weather warnings across the country, encouraging everyone to stay vigilant and heed local officials’ warnings. They also mention the president’s upcoming trip to Allentown, Pennsylvania, to discuss economic growth. The speaker then introduces Admiral John Kirby, who discusses Russia’s use of North Korean missiles in Ukraine and the international response to it. The speaker emphasizes the need for Congress to approve supplemental funding for Ukraine and calls for support in providing vital air defense capabilities to Ukraine. The video also includes a discussion about President Biden being informed about Defense Secretary Austin’s prostate cancer diagnosis and the timeline of when the information was shared with the president.► Watch this video section


The transcript discusses the delegation of authority from Secretary Austin to his deputy when he went into the hospital. It also mentions a memo from the chief of staff regarding protocols for delegation of authority in cabinet agencies. The president was informed about Secretary Austin’s prostate cancer diagnosis and hospitalization. There is confidence in Secretary Austin, and a review of the communication process is underway. The president’s reaction was to wish Secretary Austin the best and emphasize the importance of early screening for prostate cancer.► Watch this video section


In this part of the video transcript, it is discussed that the president did not know about the diagnosis of Secretary Austin until later in the month. The president wishes the secretary a speedy recovery and plans to stick with him through the rest of the term. It is mentioned that there is a process for delegation of authority in case of emergencies, and the deputy secretary would have been capable of taking over if needed. The White House believes in transparency with the American people, especially for public figures, and the president is concerned about Secretary Austin’s health and recovery. It is acknowledged that the delay in informing the president about the diagnosis is not optimal, and steps are being taken to ensure it does not happen again. The Pentagon referred to the surgery as an elective procedure, but it is noted that this wording came from the doctors at Walter Reed, not the Pentagon. There is a discussion about the potential misleading nature of this phrase, but the speaker defers to the Pentagon and the doctors for further information.► Watch this video section


The speaker addresses concerns about President Biden’s ability to lead as Commander in Chief, given that his defense secretary’s hospitalization went unnoticed for days. The speaker emphasizes that the military’s ability to defend national security was never compromised and that the commander-in-chief was in command and control of military forces. They explain the decision-making process in the National Security Council and provide a detailed timeline of events to demonstrate the administration’s actions and transparency. The speaker acknowledges the credibility challenge and emphasizes the exceptional leadership of the defense secretary. However, the questioner raises doubts about the administration’s transparency and its potential impact on future issues, to which the speaker responds by acknowledging the need for transparency and learning from the situation.► Watch this video section


In this part of the video, a spokesperson addresses questions about the handling of information within the Department of Defense. They discuss the lack of transparency regarding a specific issue and express a desire to learn from the situation to prevent similar occurrences in the future. The spokesperson also defends the Secretary of Defense’s leadership and actions in various global matters. Additionally, the spokesperson is asked about media access in Israel and the results of Secretary Blinken’s meetings, to which they provide limited information and defer to their colleague at the State Department. Finally, the spokesperson reiterates the administration’s stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict and addresses China’s recent activities near Taiwan.► Watch this video section


The speaker raises questions about the timing of certain actions by China ahead of a major election and emphasizes the importance of respecting democratic institutions in Taiwan. They also address concerns about the government of Burundi’s statements against gay people and the protection of journalists in conflict zones. The speaker also discusses the medical procedure undergone by the Secretary of Defense and the need for transparency and accountability in reporting such information to the White House. No ads, sponsored content, or endorsements are mentioned in this part of the video.► Watch this video section


The speaker discusses the expectation that if a cabinet officer becomes hospitalized and can’t perform their duties, it should be notified to the commander-in-chief. There are questions about the Pentagon reviewing Elon Musk’s security clearance and the US’s stance on diplomatic resolutions with Hezbollah. The speaker declines to comment on ongoing legal cases and addresses former President Trump’s statements about an economic downturn. They also discuss the notification process regarding Secretary Austin’s hospitalization and a conversation between the president and the secretary. The speaker emphasizes the importance of putting the American people first and declines to provide specific details about the conversations.► Watch this video section


The speaker discussed various topics in the video transcript. They addressed Michelle Obama’s concerns about the election, the ongoing negotiations for a bipartisan border security deal, the grounding of Boeing aircraft by the FAA, and the safety of flying. Additionally, they mentioned the hospitalization of the secretary and the need for a review of the process. The speaker emphasized the importance of prioritizing the safety of Americans and expressed confidence in the safety of flying. They also mentioned the need for a review of the process regarding the secretary’s hospitalization.► Watch this video section


The speaker discusses the Pentagon’s review of a recent incident and the importance of having robust protocols in place. They also mention that the president and his administration are in regular touch with cabinet members. Regarding the Alaskan Airlines flag, they note that the transportation secretary has been reassuring Americans about travel safety. In response to a question about the economy, they emphasize the positive job creation, low unemployment, and inflation rates, countering concerns about a potential recession.► Watch this video section


The speaker mentioned that they don’t have any information to preview for the following day and that the president will be going to Allentown on Friday. They also declined to comment on a question about a supposed agreement and referred to the White House Legal Office. Additionally, there was a question about the mayor of Kiev’s business relationship, and the speaker referred it to the White House council’s Office. The speaker also discussed Secretary Austin taking responsibility for violating existing rules and the Pentagon conducting a full review, expressing the president’s appreciation for Secretary Austin’s leadership.► Watch this video section


The speaker discusses the upcoming event in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and the distinction between official events and campaign events. They emphasize that they have been clear about differentiating between the two, stating that campaign events come from the campaign, while official events come from the White House. They also mention that similar practices have been followed by previous presidents during reelection campaigns. The speaker criticizes House Republicans for focusing on political games instead of delivering real results for the American people and declines to provide details on the sticking points in border talks, stating that they don’t want to interfere with the negotiation process.► Watch this video section

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January 2024

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