A reporter for the Washington Post used a viral quote highly critical of President Joe Biden from the sister of a Marine who was killed in Thursday’s suicide bombing attack at the international airport in Kabul to ask White House press secretary Jen Psaki a question during her Monday briefing.
During the brief, which began with an update on the administration’s response to Hurricane Ida, which made landfall over the weekend in Louisiana, Psaki was also asked about Biden’s interactions with the families of the 13 U.S. military personnel who were killed in the attack, noting at one point she was “not going to speak to private conversations between the president and the parents of service members who lost their lives saving others.”
However, WaPo reporter Ashley Parker pressed Psaki anyway by reading to her the quote from Roice McCollum, who is the sister of Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, one of the dead, she gave to the Post over the weekend.
“The sister of one of the Marines killed in the airport attack told the press that the President’s comments struck her family as ‘scripted’ and ‘shallow.’ And she said, quote, ‘You can’t F up as bad as he did and say you’re sorry. This did not need to happen, and every life is on his hands,’” Parker said.
She went on to ask Psaki if she could “talk a little about how the president thought the meeting with the families went? And also, what responsibility, if any, for these deaths does he think he bears?”
But the press secretary did not waver, noting that “the president made clear, as the secretary of state and our national security adviser made clear that we’re all responsible. And their response…they feel a responsibility. And the buck stops with the president.”
“It is certainly the right of any individual who met with the president yesterday to speak publicly about their experience, but I’m not going to speak about the President’s experience beyond what I’ve said already,” Psaki added.
As a follow-up, Parker asked if Biden was planning to attend any of the funerals of the fallen.
The press secretary responded by saying that Biden is “only going to do things that are of comfort to the family, are supportive of remembering the lives that have been lost, and he’s going to continue to look for ways to do that.”
On Friday, Kathy McCollum, Rylee’s mother, called into the “Wilkow Majority” radio show and ripped Biden as a “feckless, dementia-ridden piece of crap” after she learned of her son’s death.
“The dementia-ridden piece of crap needs to be removed from office. It never would have happened under Trump,” she said. “I can’t cry because I’m too mad to cry.”
“Twenty years and six-months-old, getting ready to go home from freaking Jordan to be home with his wife to watch the birth of his son, and that feckless, dementia-ridden piece of crap just sent my son to die,” she repeated.
Biden was also criticized by Gold Star families when he traveled to Dover Air Force Base to receive the bodies of the fallen for repeatedly glancing down at his watch.
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