Newly uncovered emails show that President Joe Biden appeared to make false statements downplaying the severity of the injuries that his three-year-old German Shepherd, Major, inflicted on a Secret Service agent. The president and other members of his administration, including White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, also appear to have made false statements to reporters about the number of times the dog bit people, including a visitor to the White House.
Critics say the gap in White House communications on this relatively minor issue indicates a deeper lack of honesty by administration officials, including the president.
Numerous media outlets, including The Daily Wire, reported that Major had engaged in aggressive behavior and bit someone in early March. The day after what was believed to be a single incident, Psaki announced that the Bidens were sending Major and their late 13-year-old dog, Champ, on a “previously planned” trip to one of their homes in Wilmington, where the dogs would be cared for by family friends.
President Biden proceeded to spread apparent falsehoods about the nature of the dog bite on the March 16 episode of “Good Morning America,” hosted by George Stephanopoulos. “Major did not bite someone and penetrate the skin,” said President Biden.
But an email from a Secret Service official dated March 5 reveals that, after Major bit a visitor entering the White House, the bite “[d]id break the skin.”
Three days later, Major bit a Secret Service agent whose name is redacted. “That bite caused bruising and puncture to the skin as seen in the picture dated 3.8.21,” said the email. (Emphasis added.)
Far from an isolated event, the same agent had been bitten one week earlier. The March 1 “bite caused some bruising,” noted the email, which Judicial Watch obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request.
“At the current rate an Agent or Officer has been bitten every day this week (3/1-3/8) causing damage to attire or bruising/punctures to the skin,” the March 8 email concluded.
Another Secret Service agent narrowly avoided a serious bite from Major on March 6. The dog “didn’t make contact with agent’s skin, but did bite a hole through his overcoat,” said the email.
The emails also show that President Biden muddied the water about the reason Major was removed from the White House, telling ABC that the removal had nothing to do with the allegedly lone biting incident.
“I didn’t banish him to home. Jill was going to be away for four days. I was going to be away for two, so we took him home,” Biden told George Stephanopoulos in March.
But in an email dated March 6, the head of the Presidential Protective Division, David Cho, recommended Major be sent to a trainer who is “very good at training canines. He did it for Obama, etc.”
After the biting incident on March 8, one Secret Service agent asked another, “If you know….Were the dogs sent home because of the biting?”
“Pretty positive,” the other responded.
The emails also show the White House was keenly attuned to media coverage, even for a story as seemingly inconsequential as the first dog’s behavior.
“I just received a call from [redacted]. Apparently CNN will be running a story on how a family pet bit two agents, and have now been sent to Delaware,” wrote Cho on the evening of March 8. “Of course the situation is sensitive, and unsure how the information originated.”
“This is ridiculous,” replied Kimberly Cheatle, assistant director of the Office of Protective Operations, concerning the CNN coverage.
An email from March 10 showed that White House officials continued to monitor the media’s Major coverage. Then-Secret Service Communications Director Cathy L. Milhoan emailed a link to CNN’s story of the dog bite incident (which did not report two bites) to undisclosed recipients. CNN reported that Major displayed “agitated behavior on multiple occasions, including jumping, barking, and ‘charging’ at staff and security,” but no media outlet reported any details of additional bites.
Milhoan noted that “NO ONE from CNN has reached out” to her for comment. “CBS has queried. We offered no comment and referred to WH,” she added. Milhoan was named assistant director of the FBI’s Office of Public Affairs earlier this month.
After returning from training, the media widely reported that Major had been involved in the “second biting incident of the month” on March 29. When it was believed to be only the second incident, personal injury attorney Davis Cooper told Fox News that the Bidens should “keep that dog completely isolated or away from anyone, because he’s a known danger. I believe it’s their duty to protect people from their dog.” We now know more incidents had preceded this encounter.
“We’re sure Major is a good dog but these records show he was involved in many more biting incidents than the Biden White House has publicly acknowledged,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a statement. “It is disturbing to see a White House cover-up of numerous injuries to Secret Service and White House personnel by the Bidens’ family pet.”
New York Post reporter Steven Nelson confronted Psaki about the number of reported incidents on Friday. “At a March 9 briefing, you only described one biting incident to us, and described the dogs as being whisked back to Delaware on a preplanned trip to his family friends,” Nelson told Psaki.
“Obviously, that is not the world’s most important story,” Nelson acknowledged, “but it is significant, because we expect honest information even for minor stories. So, can you explain to us why there was kind of a misleading account presented to us? And if we can’t get honest information about minor stories, why should we have faith in the administration’s account for larger issues like Afghanistan?”
“I don’t have any additional specifics,” replied Psaki, who confirmed Major “has been receiving additional training.”
Critics have claimed this follows a pattern of misinformation emanating from the Biden-Harris administration on issues ranging from Major’s biting history to the U.S. military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.
One critic described the Biden administration’s portrayal of the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan triggered by the president’s precipitous withdrawal of U.S. troops as “the definition of gaslighting.” To cite but a few examples:
Biden denied that his generals advised him to keep 2,500 soldiers in Afghanistan — again, to George Stephanopoulos, on the August 18 episode of “Good Morning America.” But Jen Psaki confirmed the Wall Street Journal report during her April 14 press briefing.
Jen Psaki upbraided Fox News reporter Peter Doocy on Monday for saying that Americans have found themselves “stranded” in Afghanistan. An American mother named Fatima, who is based in the war-torn nation, told “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday morning, “We are in danger. We are in danger, Mr. President. Please help us … [W]e are stranded.”
Increasingly, the media have begun to question the administration’s truthfulness on such consequential issues as the safety of Americans caught behind enemy lines.
“The president does seem adrift from the facts in a lot of ways right now,” said ABC’s Terry Moran on Sunday. After President Biden’s presser on August 20, ABC’s foreign correspondent Ian Pannel said, “It just seems the reality and the rhetoric are miles apart.” And Dallas Morning News columnist Carl P. Leubsdorf wrote that “President Joe Biden’s effort to put a positive spin on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan risks creating a credibility gap” that extends far beyond Afghanistan.
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The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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