OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
While most of the so-called mainstream media correspondents covering the White House have given Joe Biden a pass for much of his presidency, several of them appeared to have reached their limits last week after new revelations of alleged corruption involving the president and his son, Hunter Biden.
According to reports, House Republicans are in possession of a threatening WhatsApp message provided to them by an IRS whistleblower from Hunter to a Chinese businessman in which he also dropped his father’s name.
During a press conference addressing the message, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (R-Mo.) said one IRS agent told Smith’s committee that in August 2020, agency investigators found messages from an iCloud search warrant, but prosecutors ‘denied investigators’ requests to develop a strategy to look into the messages and denied investigators’ suggestion to obtain location information to see where the texts were sent from.”
One message investigators managed to obtain was sent via the WhatsApp platform from Hunter Biden to Henry Zhao on July 30, 2017.
Smith’s committee provided a transcript of the exchange where it appears Hunter Biden name-dropped his father, Joe Biden:
I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled. Tell the director that I would like to resolve this now before it gets out of hand, and now means tonight. And, Z, if I get a call or text from anyone involved in this other than you, Zhang, or the chairman, I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction. I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father.
Reporters peppered National Security spokesman John Kirby about the message, but he wouldn’t address it. Then, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre got some of the same questions, including whether or not Joe Biden actually was in the room at the time, as Hunter’s message inferred, but she refused to answer.
Former Fox News reporter James Rosen, now with Newsmax, was the first to ask but got nowhere. Next, New York Times correspondent Peter Baker tried.
“Can I follow up on that? So Kirby wouldn’t answer James’ question though, are you gonna’ answer the question? It’s not an unreasonable question to ask when the president of the United States was involved, as this message seems to suggest, in some sort of coercive conversation for business dealings by his son. Is that something? If he wasn’t, maybe you should tell us,” he said.
“I appreciate the question. I believe my colleague at the White House counsel has answered this question,” Jean-Pierre said, referring him and the other reporters back to statements made by the Department of Justice and Kirby.
“No, you didn’t: Yes or no, was the president involved in the shakedown attempt?” asked New York Post reporter Steven Nelson.
“Steven, I just answered the question … It’s not up to you how I answer the question,” Jean-Pierre barked in response.
Rosen then jumped back in and asked the press secretary if she stood by an earlier claim that Joe Biden had no knowledge of his son’s business dealings. “Nothing has changed,” she said.
CBS News’ Weijia Jiang asked the same question: “To follow up on what my colleague was saying in regard to this text message and what the president’s son was alleging: Was the president there or not?”
“I would refer to my colleagues at the White House counsel,” Jean-Pierre said, adding later that she had no plans to ask the president to answer the question.
“And there you have it. The White House will not be held to account by the Fourth Estate charged with holding the powerful to account,” noted the Daily Wire’s Joseph Curl in an op-ed column detailing the exchange. “Time to fire Karine Jean-Pierre.”