CNN White House correspondent M.J. Lee went right at the Trump question when she asked White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre flat-out whether President Joe Biden thinks it’s “appropriate for a person who is indicted to run for office?”
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation over hush money payments to Stormy Daniels has become the hot story after reports that various law enforcement agencies would be meeting to prepare for a possible indictment and arrest of former President Donald Trump. Trump turned those reports into a firestorm when he posted messages urging supporters to ‘TAKE OUR NATION BACK!’ and stage protests over his arrest “ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK.”
While agencies prepare for the possibility of a Trump arrest, Jean-Pierre kept her responses general earlier in the week when she was peppered with questions about Trump’s message — and potential Trump-related violence and protests — in multiple exchanges with several reporters.
And although the White House has been tight-lipped about Trump’s potential arrest, Lee tried to find a different way in at Tuesday’s briefing, where she asked Jean-Pierre a question for which she was almost certain not to get an answer.
Jean-Pierre praised Lee for the framing, but then deployed the proverbial 10-foot pole:
MS. LEE: Just totally different topic. Does President Biden believe that it is appropriate for a person who is indicted to run for office?
MS. JEAN-PIERRE: So — nice way to ask, MJ. Very clever.
So I’m going to be, again, really careful for here — from here as it relates to any upcoming elections. And specifically, I’m assuming you’re — you’re talking about the 2024 election. We just — I’m just not going to give any analysis, any foresight, any — any type of — kind of decision or thoughts on that because we are covered by the Hatch Act. So not going to speak to politics. And I’m just going to leave for — leave it there.