On Biden’s first day in office, new White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki took to the podium and claimed that Biden’s objective was to “to bring transparency and truth back to government — to share the truth even when it’s hard to hear,” She added: “That’s something I hope to deliver on in this role as well.”
The implication of the statement was clear: The Biden White House will be truthful and transparent, whereas the Trump White House, according to Psaki, was not.
“I have deep respect for the role of a free and independent press in our democracy and for the role all of you play,” she said. “There will be moments when we disagree … but we have a common goal, which is sharing accurate information with the American people.”
But Psaki quickly proved that honesty and transparency were not core values of the Biden White House. In fact, Psaki’s record with transparency was tainted long before she became Joe Biden’s press secretary. But she quickly earned herself the nickname of “Circle Back Girl” for her repeated dodging of questions by telling the person who asked an inconvenient question she didn’t want to respond to that she’d “circle back” to the question later—once the most politically expedient answer was concocted by the White House.
But as the world was stunned by Biden’s botched withdrawal of Afghanistan and horrified by the recent terror attacks that claimed dozens of lives, including 13 U.S. service members, we found out more about the Biden White House’s antipathy for transparency.
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According to emails newly released by Judicial Watch, Joe Biden’s German Shepherd, Major, attacked more people than was originally disclosed by the White House. In early March, the White House sent both dogs back to Biden’s home in Delaware. CNN reported a week later that this was due to Major being involved in a “biting incident” with a member of White House security.
When asked to clarify about the incident, Psaki explained, “Champ and Major, the President and First Lady’s dogs — members of the family — are still getting acclimated and accustomed to their new surroundings and new people. And, on Monday, the First Family’s younger dog, Major, was surprised by an unfamiliar person and reacted in a way that resulted in a minor injury to the individual, which was handled by the White House Medical Unit with no further treatment needed.”
Psaki added that this trip was previously planned.
But, according to the emails released by Judicial Watch, Major bit members of the Secret Service eight days in a row. According to one email, “at the current rate an Agent or Officer has been bitten every day this week (3/1-3/8) causing damage to attire or bruising/punctures to the skin.” Agents had also been advised to protect their “hands/fingers” by placing their hands “in their pockets.”
The emails also proved that the dogs’ trip back to Delaware was because of the biting incidents and was not previously planned as Psaki had claimed.
“We’re sure Major is a good dog but these records show he was involved in many more biting incidents than the Biden White House has publicly acknowledged,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “It is disturbing to see a White House cover-up of numerous injuries to Secret Service and White House personnel by the Bidens’ family pet.”
But this revelation is far bigger than it seems. It raises serious questions about the Biden White House’s commitment to transparency. Psaki tried to laugh off this serious question when asked about the Judicial Watch report by a New York Post reporter. After recounting the details, he acknowledged that this wasn’t the world’s most important story but that it nevertheless had much broader implications. “Obviously, that is not the world’s most important story but it is significant because we expect honest information, even for minor stories. So, can you explain to us why there was some kind of misleading account presented to us? And if we can’t get honest information about minor stories, why should we have faith in the administration’s account for larger issues like Afghanistan?”
“I know you do keep the dog in the news in the briefing room. So thank you for that,” Psaki replied before dodging the question entirely. “As we’ve stated previously, Major has had some challenges adjusting to life in the White House. He has been receiving additional training, as well as spending some time in Delaware, where the environment is more familiar to him and he is more comfortable. I don’t have any additional specifics but I think that speaks to where Major is located, to be fully transparent in your ongoing interest in the dog.”
It’s very telling that in response to a serious question about why the White House should be trusted, Psaki chose instead to mock the reporter for daring to ask the question in the first place.
The White House hasn’t given us many reasons to trust them to be honest or transparent from day one, but the situation with Major was an opportunity to prove their commitment to “share the truth even when it’s hard to hear.” That decision ultimately made a minor incident a “Major” scandal.