Reporters Grill John Kirby on SecDef Lloyd Austin: White House Can’t Say Where Austin Is Today

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby could not answer a reporter’s question at Wednesday’s press briefing on whether Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is still in the hospital or has been released. Kirby opened his part of the briefing by telling reporters that Austin had participated in a briefing Tuesday with Joe Biden and other national security principals on the conflicts in the Red Sea and Middle East.

Later, when asked where Austin was when he took part in the briefing, a pained looking Kirby shook his head in frustration and said Austin was in the hospital when he took part in the briefing of Biden on Tuesday, but referred reporters to the Pentagon for information on the current whereabouts and condition of Austin, indicating a continuing failure by the White House to stay up to date on Austin.

Kirby took several questions on Austin, confirming that Austin did not tell Biden about his prostate cancer diagnosis in their phone call on Saturday. Austin’s month-long secrecy about his cancer diagnosis followed by his secrecy about having surgery and then being hospitalized in the ICU for complications has prompted calls by Republicans for his resignation or firing. Kirby defended Austin when a reported questioned whether he is an “essential” member of the administration given that no one noticed Austin was missing.

The White House has said Biden has no intention of firing Austin.

Video clips of reporters grilling Kirby posted by the RNC, “Top Biden spokesman John Kirby won’t say where Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been “conducting his business” amid the scandal over Austin’s incapacitation”

Austin did not tell Biden had cancer when they spoke on Saturday. Kirby: “The call between the President and the Secretary was very brief and it was really focused on making sure the President passed on his best wishes for a speedy recovery to the Secretary.”

“REPORTER: So did the Pentagon just decline to tell Biden the defense secretary had cancer, or…? KIRBY: “The call between the president and secretary was very brief…” REPORTER: “So….. was the Pentagon, then, giving incomplete info?” KIRBY: “I don’t know”

“Top Biden spokesman John Kirby confirms the Biden administration is in complete chaos: “Once we found out [Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin] was in the hospital, we certainly asked all the questions you’d think we would ask to ascertain his condition…”

Post by Townhall, “REPORTER: “You said [SecDef Austin] is an essential member of this administration, but if he can disappear without anybody noticing…how essential is he?! KIRBY: “The military operations that have been conducted over the past week…Secretary Austin was a key member…”


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