In an embarrassing admission, White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre acknowledged errors in recent statements regarding the late Bill Richardson.
Richardson was the former Democratic governor of New Mexico. He died on Saturday at age 75.
President Joe Biden’s initial press release stated that Richardson is survived by a daughter named Heather. That information was not correct.
“It was a mistake, and I apologize.” Karine Jean-Pierre said, acknowledging her error.
The Daily Caller reported that CBS White House correspondent Weija Jiang pressed for an explanation: “Can you walk us through how these press releases are fact-checked … how this error was made.”
“So look, we apologize for the error, certainly,” Jean-Pierre said. “That is not something that, you know, we want to do. We want to make sure that we get this information out clearly and in a straightforward way to the American people.
Jean-Pierre added, “It was not done intentionally and certainly when we realized that error, it was removed from the website. We do have fact-checkers here, we do have multiple people who take a look at the press releases, especially from the president. This was just a miss, unfortunately, and we apologize for that miss.”
The press secretary then reiterated the White House’s condolences to Richardson’s family and stated that this type of error would not be repeated.
Jean-Pierre added that President Biden and Gov. Richardson were friends and then reaffirmed the White House’s commitment to accuracy.
“Bill Richardson was a friend to the president,” said Jean-Pierre. “And so again, we apologize for that error and certainly that is not something that we want to see happen. It is not a common occurrence, right, that happens from this White House.”
The updated statement from the White House reads:
“Former Gov. Bill Richardson is survived by his wife, Barbara, who he married in 1972.”
The personalized statement from the president reads: “Bill and I crossed paths for the first time decades ago, when he was a staffer on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which I served on as Senator.”
The statement adds: “Over the years, I saw firsthand his passion for politics, love for America, and unflagging belief that, with respect and good faith, people can come together across any difference, no matter how vast. He was a patriot and true original, and will not be forgotten. Jill and I send our love to his family, including his wife of over 50 years, Barbara.”
Former President Bill Clinton commented on Richardson’s passing.
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