White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre fumbled both Hawaiian senators’ names and referred to female Democrat Sen. Mazie Hirono as a “he.”
The gaffes come one day after President Biden declined to comment on the rising death toll in Maui following the devastating wildfires that have left nearly 100 Americans dead.
“Sen. Horino (sic), who I’ve said the president spoke to just last night,” Jean-Pierre said. “He thanked the president for the immediate support the federal agencies have delivered for residents of Hawaii.”
WHITE HOUSE SAYS BIDEN ‘PRAYING’ FOR HAWAII FAMILIES AFTER GIVING ‘NO COMMENT’ BEFORE
“And so has Sen. Schwartz, (sic)” she added.
The two Hawaiian senators are Hirono and Democrat Sen. Brian Schatz.
At the same briefing, Jean-Pierre said the president and first lady Jill Biden are “praying” for the victims of the Maui wildfires a day after the president declined to comment on the tragedy.
During Monday’s press briefing, Jean-Pierre said the president and his wife were sending prayers to the victims of the Maui wildfires that leveled the town of Lahaina.
“As the president said last week that he and the first lady are praying for families who are grieving their loved ones and for everyone who has suffered devastating losses of land and property as a result of the wildfires in Maui,” Jean-Pierre said.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre referred to female Sen. Mazie Hirono as a “he.” (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
“The president continues to stay closely engaged with his team and state and local officials to ensure a robust, whole-of-government response continues,” she added.
Jean-Pierre said the president has been in contact with FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell and state and local officials since Sunday night.
The spokesperson’s claim comes in contrast to the president’s declining to comment while on a Delaware beach on Sunday.
Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily briefing at the White House on July 19, 2023. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)
In response to a request for comment, the White House pointed to positive comments about the federal government’s response on Sunday from Hawaii Gov. Josh Green, who told MSNBC that he was “honored to have the president jump to it so fast.”
“President Biden has mobilized and led a whole-of-government response to the wildfires in Hawaii from the beginning, working closely on it and receiving detailed briefings every day since,” a spokesperson told Fox News Digital.
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“Yesterday he received two updates from FEMA Administrator Criswell while she was on the ground. As Gov. Green stressed yesterday, within six hours of receiving Hawaii’s request, President Biden signed a Major Disaster Declaration and ordered all available federal resources in the state to help with the response. Gov. Green described this as having provided ‘amazing support for recovery.’ Sen. Hirono also thanked President Biden for the immediate support federal agencies have delivered for the residents of Hawaii, as has Sen. Schatz. Like President Biden said on Thursday, ‘I’ve directed that we surge support to these brave firefighters and first responders and emergency personnel working around the clock[…] I’m going to make sure the state has everything it needs from the federal government to recover.'”
White House officials also said Sunday that Biden was briefed by FEMA Administrator Criswell on the situation in Maui. The president posted an update late Monday morning.
Fox News Digital’s Hanna Panreck contributed reporting.