White House press secretary Jen Psaki did not deny that President Biden looked at his watch during a dignified transfer ceremony in honor of the 13 US servicemen killed by ISIS-K in Kabul.
On Sunday, Biden met with the families of soldiers killed in the Kabul attack and attended the ceremony to receive the remains of the military at Dover Air Base.
During the event, Biden appeared to look down on his watch, drawing criticism from conservatives as well as the families of the deceased servicemen.
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Psaki dodged a question from Fox News’s Jacqui Heinrich during Tuesday’s daily press briefing on criticism of the president’s conduct during the dignified transfer ceremony for fallen troops, particularly for checking his watch in front of families in mourning and coffins draped with the American flag.
“Some of the Gold Star families criticized the president’s conduct during the dignified transfer. There was a Marine’s father who said the president shouldn’t check his watch every time a flag-draped transport case passed by. by the plane. And a sister of another Marine said that sounded like a bogus written apology, “Heinrich said at the briefing.
Heinrich asked Psaki, “Was the president looking at his watch and does he have a message for those people who felt offended?”
Psaki did not respond to Heinrich’s question about the watch and instead offered his condolences to the families on Biden’s behalf.
“Well, I would say his message to all the family members who were there, those who weren’t even present, is that he is grateful to their sons and daughters, the sacrifice they have done for the country. Let him know firsthand what it is like to lose a child and the fact that no one can tell you anything, or say anything, that there are no words that go fill the void left by that. “
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“He is not and I am not going to talk about private conversations, of course they have the right to transmit whatever they want,” Psaki continued, referring to the Gold Star families.
“But I’ll tell you, after spending a lot of time with him over the past few days, that he’s been deeply affected by those family members he met just two days ago. Let him talk about it. frequently in the meetings and the incredible service of their sons and daughters. It is not going to change their suffering, but I still wanted to pass it on. “
Sister of the Fallen Navy Lance Corporal Rylee McCollum, Cheyenne McCollum, told Fox News that Biden’s apology to his family was not “sincere.”
Cheyenne said the president would not look the family in the eye and spent the three-minute conversation talking about his late son, Beau Biden, rather than Rylee or the 12 other servicemen who perished in the attack last week. ISIS-K near Kabul airport.
Fox News’s Tyler O’Neil and Nikolas Lanum contributed to this report.