As former U.S. President Donald Trump faced an arraignment in New York, the White House press corps were left asking one question. What did President Joe Biden have to say? The answer, however, was simple and consistent: “No comment.”
Biden’s Comment on Trump’s Indictment
While Trump appeared in court some 238 miles away, President Biden was in the White House dining room meeting with his Council of Advisors on Science and Technology to discuss the dangers and possibilities of artificial intelligence.
Despite repeated attempts from journalists to elicit a comment, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre explained that it was an ongoing case and that “we’re just not going to comment on the case specifically itself.” Jean-Pierre also stated that “the President is going to focus on the American people like he does every day” and “this is not something that is a focus for him,” according to a published article in BBC News.
While journalists tried to argue that the lack of comment suggested that the White House did not think anything happening in New York was one of the top issues facing the country, Jean-Pierre responded by saying that Americans should “feel reassured” that the White House wouldn’t comment on an ongoing case.
Why The White House Remains Silent on Trump’s Indictment?
The White House has been largely silent on the issue since news of Trump’s indictment first broke last week. Even before the indictment, Biden had been careful to avoid direct criticism of Trump, whether commenting on the “Make America Great Again” movement or on Trump-era policies.
In a published article in Yahoo News, Democratic strategist Lis Smith stated that the White House strategy to stay out of the issue was smart. Smith argued that “in 2020, Joe Biden benefited from voters’ exhaustion with the chaos of the Trump administration.” Smith further added that “the split screen of President Biden focused on doing his job well versus Trump and the Republican Party in chaos will only help him.”
Meanwhile, President Biden features heavily in Trump’s campaign messages and emails to supporters. A fundraising email sent on Tuesday morning included a caveat that Americans “doing poorly due to Biden’s policies” should “take care of yourself” and ignore the donation request.