Politics

Karine Jean-Pierre slams Fox reporter for citing Jeff Bezos as an economic expert

White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds a press briefing on Friday, July 30, 2021, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House.
White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds a press briefing on Friday, July 30, 2021, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House.Photo: Official White House Photo by Erin Scott

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre put a Fox reporter in his place when he tried to argue that President Joe Biden should be taking economic advice from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Fox News’s Peter Doocy was asking Jean-Pierre at the White House press briefing yesterday about a statement from Biden where he said: “You want to bring down inflation?  Let’s make sure the wealthiest corporations pay their fair share.”

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After some back-and-forth where Doocy was apparently questioning whether tax policy affects inflation, Doocy thought he was pulling out a trump card with Bezos’s reaction to Biden.

“Jeff Bezos came out and tweeted about that.  He said, ‘The newly created disinformation board should review this tweet,'” Doocy said. “Would you be okay with that?”

Jean-Pierre wasn’t having it.

“Look, it’s not a huge mystery why one of the wealthiest individuals on Earth — right? — opposes an economic agenda that is for the middle class,” she clapped back, saying that Biden is “asking the richest taxpayers and corporations to pay their fair share.”

“That is what we’re talking about here,” Jean-Pierre said before they moved on to another topic.

The idea that fiscal policy – that is, government spending more or less or taxing people more or less – can affect inflation is not some new or bizarre economic idea. In fact, Republicans have, for months, been accusing the government of putting too much money in people’s hands by spending too much and therefore causing inflation, so it’s strange that conservatives wouldn’t see the other side of the coin – tax policy – as equally implicated in inflation.

Bezos’s comment about the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Disinformation Governance Board is referring to a “small working group within the Department of Homeland Security” that is developing a set of best practices to address foreign misinformation campaigns and “communicate those best practices to operators,” according to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

The board is focused on foreign misinformation, and Russian disinformation as well as incorrect information about U.S. immigration were the two examples Mayorkas brought up to show what the group is working on. Still, that hasn’t stopped the right from acting like the DHS board is going to stop them from tweeting.

Yesterday was Jean-Pierre’s first press briefing as White House press secretary. She is the first out LGBTQ White House press secretary and the first Black woman to hold the position.

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