White House Says Biden ‘Absolutely Did Not Apologize’ for Calling Immigrant an ‘Illegal’

White House Says Biden ‘Absolutely Did Not Apologize’ for Calling Immigrant an ‘Illegal’
President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address during a joint meeting of Congress in the House chamber at the U.S. Capitol on March 7, 2024. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The White House claims that President Joe Biden “absolutely did not apologize” for using the term “illegal” to refer to an illegal immigrant during his State of the Union speech, despite President Biden expressing regret over his words in a later interview.

During his State of the Union address last week, President Biden used the term “illegal” when talking about Jose Ibarra, the man accused of murdering 22-year-old Georgia nursing student Laken Riley. In a later March 10 interview with MSNBC, he said, “I shouldn’t have used ‘illegal’; it’s undocumented.”

According to White House spokesperson Olivia Dalton, President Biden wasn’t in any way apologizing for using the term “illegal,” during that interview.

She said in a March 12 press briefing, “There was no apology anywhere in that conversation. He did not apologize.”

“He used a different word. I think what we should be really clear about is the facts,” Ms. Dalton added.

In the wake of President Biden’s speech and later MSNBC interview, multiple Republicans condemned him for what they saw as an apology to an alleged murderer and illegal immigrant.

Former President Trump, who was campaigning in Georgia at the time, criticized the president for the whole affair.

“Joe Biden went on television and apologized for calling Laken’s murderer an illegal,” he said. “Biden should be apologizing for apologizing to this killer.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) also called out the president on social media platform X, saying the president should be apologizing to Ms. Riley’s family, not the alleged killer.

“The president is cowering to his base and showing deference to a man who deserves none,” Speaker Johnson said.

“This man is an illegal immigrant who brutally murdered Laken Riley. President Biden should be apologizing to Laken’s family. What an embarrassment.”

Ms. Dalton further doubled down on her claim that the president wasn’t apologizing and also claimed that another “fact” of the matter is the president had already addressed Ms. Riley’s family during his State of the Union Address, “when he spoke passionately about knowing what it means to lose a child and extended his deep grief and condolences to Laken Riley’s family in front of the entire country in the House Chamber.”

“And beyond that, I think it’s unconscionable that there are some people who are playing politics with this young woman’s tragic murder, and particularly at a time when, let’s not forget, House Republicans are standing in the way of a bipartisan border security agreement that is the toughest bill we have ever seen in history.”

The $118 billion package pairs tens of billions of dollars in wartime aid for Ukraine with new border laws aimed at shrinking the historic number of people who have crossed the U.S. border. The bill would also send military aid to Israel, fund other allies in the Asia-Pacific, and pay for humanitarian aid in Gaza.

Republicans opposing the bill argue that the border policy doesn’t go far enough and question additional aid for Ukraine.

Concerns have been mounting over the billions in aid being sent to Ukraine as the war now passes the two-year mark and war weariness and uncertainty over a Ukraine victory looms large.

In recent times, Republicans have also been calling for cuts to spending as the national debt passes $34 trillion. The federal debt ceiling, imposed by Congress, restricts the total amount of debt the government can hold. In the past, when nearing the debt ceiling, Congress habitually raised the cap instead of making difficult cuts to government spending.

From The Epoch Times

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