On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was pressed about President Joe Biden appearing to look at his watch during the dignified transfer of 13 U.S. service members killed in a suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Images of Biden looking at this wristwatch have gone viral since the incident.
Psaki made her remarks at the White House’s daily press briefing.
#BREAKING: Asked by Fox's @JacquiHeinrich, Jen Psaki refuses to deny or rebut the images and video of President Biden checking his watch during Sunday's dignified transfer of the 13 U.S. soldiers who died in Afghanistan. pic.twitter.com/PMgEzYM0r1
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) August 31, 2021
Psaki Dodges The Question
A reporter noted that some of the family members of the Marines who were killed in the terrorist bombing at Kabul airport were upset by Biden’s behavior – checking his watch during the dignified transfer ceremony.
She then asked Psaki, “Was the President looking at his watch? And does he have a message to those people who felt that they were offended?”
Psaki’s response did not really answer whether or not Biden kept looking at his watch.
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“I would say his message to all of the family members who were there, those who were not even in attendance, is that he is grateful to their sons and daughters, the sacrifice they made to the country, that he knows firsthand what it’s like to lose a child, and the fact that no one can tell you anything or say anything, or there’s no words that are going to fill that hole that is left by that,” Psaki replied.
“He’s not going to speak to, and I’m not going to speak to the private conversations,” she said. “Of course they have the right to convey whatever they would like.”
13 families had to watch their child be removed from an aircraft, placed into a vehicle and driven away.
They weren’t able to hug their child, or even touch their hand.
They could only watch.
While Biden checked his. https://t.co/vLAxtPgSS9
— Senator Melissa Melendez (@senatormelendez) August 30, 2021
Psaki Claims Biden Has Been Talking About The Fallen Soldiers
Psaki then noted Biden seems to have the war dead on his mind.
“But I will tell you from spending a lot of time with him over the past couple of days, that he was deeply impacted by these family members who he met just two days ago, that he talks about them frequently in meetings and the incredible service and sacrifice of their sons and daughters,” Psaki said.
“That is not going to change their suffering, but I wanted to convey that still,” she finished.
That’s a lot of words to avoid answering the simple question – ‘Was the President looking at his watch?’
Some families of the soldiers have refused to meet with Biden.
Mark Schmitz, father of Missouri Marine Jared Schmitz who lost his life in the Kabul bombing, did meet with the president.
He told Fox News that meeting “didn’t go well.”
“He talked a bit more about his own son than he did my son, and that didn’t sit well with me,” Schmitz said.
“Initially, I wasn’t going to meet with him,” Schmitz added. “But then I felt I owed it to my son to at least have some words with him about how I felt – and it didn’t go well.”
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