White House Press Secretary Defends The Obamas Skipping Scalia's Funeral

Christine Rousselle
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Posted: Feb 19, 2016 8:30 AM
White House Press Secretary Defends The Obamas Skipping Scalia's Funeral

On Wednesday, it was announced that President Obama and his wife Michelle would not be attending Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's funeral this Saturday. Instead, the administration would be represented by Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill. Thursday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest defended the Obamas for skipping the service, saying it was far more appropriate for the president to pay his respects at a different time.

“There’s so much rancor in politics and partisanship that we allow ourselves to get drawn into different corners to the extent that some people actually want to use the funeral of a Supreme Court justice as some sort of political cudgel,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Thursday. “The president doesn’t think that that’s appropriate, and, in fact, what the president thinks is appropriate is respectfully paying tribute to high-profile patriotic American citizens, even when you don’t agree on all the issues. And that’s what he’s going to do.”

Members of the Scalia family reportedly are okay with the president's decision to not attend the funeral.

Scalia will lie in repose on Friday from 10:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. at the Supreme Court for the public to pay their respects.