White House says it’s being ‘transparent’ about classified documents despite keeping under wraps for months
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a Thursday press conference that the Biden administration is being transparent about the classified document discoveries despite knowing about the issue for months.
Jean-Pierre made the comments after classified documents were found at the Penn Biden Center and at President Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, garage.
The classified documents were found at Biden’s private office at the Penn Biden Center in November and at the Wilmington, Delaware residence garage this week.
‘Do you acknowledge that the fact that the White House did not reveal this to the public, despite the fact that you’ve known about it for months, undercuts the president’s promise of being transparent to the American public?,’ a reporter asked.
‘But here’s the thing. They were transparent,’ Jean-Pierre said. ‘There was transparency in doing what you’re supposed to do when these items were discovered,’
One reporter interjected, saying that the administration wasn’t transparent ‘with the American people.’
‘Look, I am here standing in front you, answering these questions, right? The president took two questions this week on this.’
White House special counsel Richard Sauber said on Thursday that additional documents were discovered which contain classified markings.
‘Lawyers discovered among personal and political papers a small number of additional Obama-Biden administration records with classified markings. All but one of these documents were found in storage space in the President’s Wilmington residence garage,’ Sauber wrote. ‘One document consisting of one page was discovered among stored materials in an adjacent room.’
On Thursday afternoon, Sauber said in an additional statement that the documents were ‘misplaced.’
‘As the President said, he takes classified information and materials seriously, and as we have said, we have cooperated from the moment we informed the Archives that a small number of documents were found, and we will continue to cooperate. We have cooperated closely with the Justice Department throughout its review, and we will continue that cooperation with the Special Counsel. We are confident that a thorough review will show that these documents were inadvertently misplaced, and the President and his lawyers acted promptly upon discovery of this mistake,’ Sauber said.
On Monday, Sauber said in a statement regarding documents found at the Penn Biden Center that Biden’s personal attorneys are cooperating with the Department of Justice.
‘The documents were not the subject of any previous request or inquiry by the Archives,’ Sauber said. ‘Since that discovery, the President’s personal attorneys have cooperated with the Archives and the Department of Justice in the process to ensure that any Obama-Biden Administration records are appropriately in the possession of the Archives.’
When Biden was asked about the second batch of classified documents in the Wilmington Garage, Biden told Fox News’ Peter Doocy that they were locked.
‘Classified documents next to your Corvette? What were you thinking?’ Doocy asked Biden.
‘I’m going to get the chance to speak on all of this, God willing it’ll be soon, but I said earlier this week — and by the way my Corvette is in a locked garage. It’s not like it’s sitting out in the street,’ Biden responded.
‘So the documents were in a locked garage,’ Doocy asked.
‘Yes, as well as my Corvette. But as I said earlier this week, people know I take classified documents and classified material seriously,’ Biden said. ‘I also said we’re cooperating fully and completely with the Justice Department’s review.’
Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.