File Photo - White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
The White House on Nov. 30 declined to say whether President Joe Biden would visit the border amid the surge in illegal immigration.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) inviting Biden to go to the U.S.–Mexico border, but would not say whether Biden accepted the invitation.
“Look, he’s been there. He’s been to the border,” Jean-Pierre said.
Critics panned the statement as false, with Biden having never taken a trip to the border.
“President Biden has not been to the border,” Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) wrote on Twitter.
“Categorically false. He has never stopped at the southern border in his entire career,” Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) added.
Jean-Pierre did not say what she meant, but then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed in 2021 that Biden driving near there in 2008 counted.
“He did drive through the border when he was on the campaign trail in 2008, and he is certainly familiar with the fact, and it stuck with him, the fact that in El Paso, the border goes right through the center of town,” Psaki said at the time.
The 2008 trip took Biden by the border for just a few minutes, according to David Wade, who worked for Biden at the time.
Psaki was speaking after Biden told a CNN town hall, when asked why he was not going to the border, “I’ve been there before.
“I mean, I know it well,” he said at the time. “I guess I should go down but the whole point of it is, I haven’t had a whole hell of a lot of time to get down [there]. I’ve been spending time going around looking at the $900 billion damage done by hurricanes and floods and weather, and traveling around the world.”
Confronted over whether things had changed between 2008 and 2021, Psaki said, “no.”