In expressing his condolences to the families of two FBI agents killed while trying to serve a warrant in Florida Tuesday, President Biden used some eyebrow-raising language, noting that the “vast, vast majority” of U.S. law enforcement officers were “decent, honorable people.”
And while the comments — coming as Biden talked about the slaying of two agents — were seen as insensitive given the context, with critics chiding them as bending to the anti-cop far-left of his party, White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday doubled down, saying that is exactly what he meant..
“What did he mean by ‘the vast majority’?” Psaki was asked at the White House press briefing.
“That’s exactly what he meant,” Psaki answered.
She quickly moved on to another subject.
Minutes later, Psaki was pressed again on why Biden felt compelled to stress “vast majority.”
“Because I think he believes that the men and women who have been serving our country in a variety of capacities have been criticized, some have been threatened,” she said. “The roles they’re playing have been questioned over the last several years and he wanted to reiterate his support for the important work they do.”
“It’s also why he’s visiting the State Department tomorrow,” Psaki added.
“But not to say that all of them are,” the reporter shot back. “He made that delineation.”
“I think the point he’s making that, despite reports of individuals in different areas who may have done things that are problematic, that the vast majority of men and women serving in our law enforcement roles, serving in civil service roles, serving in roles across government, do vital and essential work for the American people,” Psaki said.
Biden made the comments Tuesday, hours after two veteran FBI agents were shot dead while executing a child-porn search warrant in the city of Sunrise — while three others were wounded.
“They put their lives on the line and it’s a hell of a price to pay,” the president said from the Oval Office. “And every single day … by and large that vast, vast majority of these men and women are decent, honorable people who put themselves on the line.”
Biden said he had reached out to the families Tuesday but had not spoken to them.
The two agents — Daniel Alfin, 36, and Laura Schwartzenberger, 43 — were killed around 6 a.m. when a suspect in a child-porn case, identified by sources as Daniel Lee Huber, 55, opened fire with an assault-style rifle through a closed door.