The White House claimed Wednesday officials deleted a controversial tweet because it was “not complete.”
But a reporter who questioned White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre quickly poked holes in that theory, observing that President Joe Biden made the exact claim that Jean-Pierre now said was “not complete.”
What is the background?
On Tuesday, the White House claimed Biden is responsible for a forthcoming increase in Social Security payouts.
“Seniors are getting the biggest increase in their Social Security checks in 10 years through President Biden’s leadership,” the tweet claimed.
But the White House deleted the post after Twitter users added a fact-check that noted increases in Social Security payouts are statutorily mandated to ensure that payments are commensurate with increasing inflation.
What did KJP say?
At the White House press briefing, a reporter asked whether the tweet was taken down “because of the addition of a note, or was it removed because of the concern about the veracity of the message in the tweet?”
“Look, the tweet was not complete,” Jean-Pierre responded. “Usually, when we put out a tweet, we post it with context, and it did not have that context.”
The context, according to Jean-Pierre, is that Medicare premiums will decrease in the near future and that “MAGA Republicans” want to cut social safety-net spending that is, in reality, insolvent.
“It did not have that context. It was an incomplete tweet,” the press secretary stated, “and so that’s why you saw the digital team take that action.”
But the reporter noted that on Tuesday, Biden took credit for the forthcoming increase in Social Security payouts, claiming it is occurring “on my watch” in one instance and “on our watch” in another.
- Speaking in Florida on Tuesday, Biden said, “And on my watch, for the first time in 10 years, seniors are getting an increase in their Social Security checks.”
- Then at a campaign rally, Biden said on Tuesday, “On our watch, for the first time in 10 years, seniors are getting the biggest increase in Social Security checks, period.”
“Do you believe that as long as the Medicare piece is included, that’s not claiming credit for something that is quite literally tied to cost-of-living increase and inflation?” the reporter cornered Jean-Pierre.
“We believe that we — we want to lay our argument out fully. And that was important to do as we put out, you know, information like that or as we put out a tweet,” she stumbled. “And that was an incomplete tweet. So we do think it is important to do.”
She did not, however, answer for why the tweet was “incomplete” when Biden had repeated the same claim just one day earlier.
11/02/22: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre