WH responds to reports of migrants being flown to Delaware by DeSantis

At the White House briefing on Tuesday, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the administration was aware of reports that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was sending migrants to President Biden’s home state of Delaware. She said the White House hadn’t been made aware of it by DeSantis and called the move “a political stunt.” Later, at a separate event, Biden was asked if he had a response to DeSantis’s move. “He should come visit,” he replied. “We have a beautiful shoreline.”

Video transcript

- And thanks, Karine. You said that the White House had received word of the planes heading to Wilmington. Who have you received word from? Is Governor-- is Governor DeSantis or somebody told the White House about this?

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: So I don't have the specifics of who-- where we got word from. I can tell you that we've been closely coordinating with the folks in Delaware, the officials in Delaware. What I can tell you that our heads up did not come from Governor DeSantis, because his only goal is, as he's made it really quick clear, is to create chaos and use immigrants fleeing communism as political pawns.

So it's about creating political theater for him. It's not about getting to a solution. We have a solution in front of us that we are happy to have bipartisanship on, on an issue that has been a broken system, when we look at the immigration system. But certainly we did not get word from Governor DeSantis. Again, this is a political stunt, but we have been in close contact with the Delaware government.

- But we don't know who the White House got alerted to?

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: I don't have specifics on where-- on who alerted us. I can tell you we've been in close contact with the Delaware officials on the ground.

- Thanks, Karine.

- Did the White House ever try to get in touch with Governor DeSantis or Governor Abbott about this to try to reach some type of understanding? Or--

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: I mean, there's no understanding to be reached. They are using people who are leaving a communist countries as a political stunt. Instead of maybe what they should do is call on their senators in their state.

Call on Senator Marco Rubio, ask Senator Rick Scott, why is it that they did not vote for historic funding when it comes to Department of Homeland Security, making sure that we are dealing with this issue. That's not what they did. This is, again, a political stunt that they are taking for their own political narrative. It is not about really dealing with what is happening and coming up with a solution.

[INTERPOSING VOICES]

- [INAUDIBLE] sending migrants to Delaware. Do you have any comment or response to that, sir?

JOE BIDEN: He should come visit. We have a beautiful shoreline.