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Tipsheet

WH Deputy Press Secretary Had a Curious Statement About How Biden 'Condemns' Murder Plot Against Kavanaugh

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Earlier on Wednesday, as Spencer reported, a man was arrested near Justice Brett Kavanaugh's house for saying he wanted to kill the Supreme Court justice. The suspect was later identified as 26-year-old Nicholas John Roske of Simi Valley, California, and federal charges of attempted murder have been filed against him. The White House was mostly quiet about the incident, though. 

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There have been no tweets about it from the White House Twitter account or from the website. No tweets from White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre's account. There's been nothing from President Joe Biden's personal or official account, nor from Vice President Kamala Harris' personal or official account. 

People have definitely noticed, as our friends at Twitchy highlighted

What we've heard from the Biden Administration has come from media reports. 

For instance, Attorney General Merrick Garland spoke about it, while he had already been speaking about last month's tragic shooting in Uvalde, Texas, at Robb Elementary School that left 19 children and two teachers dead.

From a Fox News report

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland addressed the incident at a press conference previously planned to provide an update on the federal investigation into the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school shooting. 

"This kind of behavior, it's obviously behavior that we will not tolerate," Garland said. "Threats of violence and actual violence against the justices of course strike at the heart of our democracy. We will do everything we can to prevent them and hold people who do them accountable."

Garland said that he accelerated the protection of all the justices residences 24/7 and met with the marshal of the court last month. He said he also convened a meeting with the marshal, as well as with the deputy FBI director, the U.S. Marshal Service and with the Justice Department’s own law enforcement prosecutors "to ensure every data protection available." 

"Just yesterday, I met with Judge Salas and Judge Sullivan, the Judicial Security Committee of the Judicial Conference, and assured them of our complete support for their efforts with respect to judicial security."

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No, it's not actually obvious, given the administration's track record, which Garland is a part of. 

Another Fox News report, by Brooke Singman, detailed how "Biden condemns actions of armed man arrested near Kavanaugh's home, supports increased security for justices." The condemnation from Biden came in the form of a not entirely believable statement from White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates: 

White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates told Fox News Wednesday that "President Biden condemns the actions of this individual in the strongest terms, and is grateful to law enforcement for quickly taking him into custody."

"As the President has consistently made clear, public officials—including judges—must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety or that of their families," Bates said. "And any violence, threats of violence, or attempts to intimidate justices have no place in our society."

Bates stressed that the president has "said that himself, and his spokespeople have been forceful about this from the podium."

...

The President supports legislation to fund increased security for the Court and Judges," Bates said.

Bates added that, with regard to threats to justices, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has also said they are "working with [their] partners across every level of government and the private sector to share timely information and intelligence, prevent all forms of violence, and to support law enforcement efforts to keep our communities safe."

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Despite how Bates claimed in his statement that Biden's "spokespeople have been forceful about this from the podium," then-White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki memorably downplayed protests at the homes of the justices last month. As I reported at the time, she told Fox News reporter Peter Doocy that people had a lot of "passion" and framed the issue as sympathizing with protesters. 

"But I think we shouldn't lose the point here," Psaki insisted. "The reason people are protesting is because women across the country are worried about their fundamental rights that have been law for 50 years, their rights to make choices about their own bodies and their own healthcare are at risk. That's why people are protesting! They're unhappy! They're scared!" 

In subsequent press briefings, Psaki even said that the White House "encourage[s]" protests, as Spencer covered. Bates spent Wednesday trying to downplay such encouragement and claim that the narrative was "dishonest," because Psaki called for them to remain "peaceful." That Psaki said they "encourage" them at all, though, was concerning enough, especially given the legal concerns of such protests at the homes of justices and the dangerous outcome it's led to. 

Former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) were among those whom Bates targeted. 

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Our friends at Twitchy also highlighted some of the best responses there as well. 

Biden is scheduled to go on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!," airing later tonight. Perhaps he'll be more forthcoming then, though it's doubtful Kimmel will give anything but the softest of questions. 

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