Fact Check: WH Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre NOT In DC 'Drunk Driving Accident'

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne
Fact Check: WH Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre NOT In DC 'Drunk Driving Accident' No Accident

Was White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre caught in a "drunk driving accident" by DC Metro Police? No, that's not true: There is no evidence to support this claim. The White House press office called the assertion "false" and the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, D.C., told Lead Stories that there's "no record" of any such incident.

The claim appeared in a post on Instagram published on April 3, 2023, under the description, "Why is No One Talking About This?" This is what the body of the post said:

Why Isn't Anyone Talking About The @PressSec DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENT?


Witnesses say she was slurring her words, difficulty standing straight.

This is what the post looked like on Instagram at the time of the writing of this fact check:

KJP Instagram.png

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Mon Jul 3 15:50:12 2023 UTC)

The Instagram post takes a screenshot of a tweet (archived here) published on March 27, 2023, and combines it with a song by Koe Wetzel called "Drunk Driving." The original post from Twitter appears below:

Twitter drunk driving.png

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Mon Jul 3 15:50:12 2023 UTC)

Metropolitan Police Department

In emails sent on July 3, 2023, Sgt. Kristina Saunders at the Metropolitan Police Department told Lead Stories that "we are showing no record of this alleged incident." She clarified further in another email:

There are no reports involving White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre driving under the influence.

White House press office

Andrew Bates, White House deputy press secretary, said this about the claim in a July 3, 2023, email to Lead Stories:

It's false.

Quartet of images

The four pictures included in the social media posts have no link to any alleged drunken driving accident involving Jean-Pierre. Here's the story behind each one:

1. This image is a screenshot of a video showing the beating of Tyre Nichols, who later died, by Memphis police officers in January 2023:


(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Mon Jul 3 15:50:12 2023 UTC)

2. This Reuters picture is from a May 26, 2022, press briefing at the White House:


(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Mon Jul 3 15:50:12 2023 UTC)

3. This photo is from the February 2023 shooting death of a man on a bus in Montgomery County, Maryland:


(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Mon Jul 3 15:50:12 2023 UTC)

4. The final image is a screenshot from bodycam footage of a train hitting a police vehicle with a suspect inside. The video is from September 2022 and the still shot is from about 50 seconds into the video:


(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Mon Jul 3 15:50:12 2023 UTC)

Lead Stories has already debunked another claim involving the White House press secretary: WH Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre Did NOT Say US 'Deeply Concerned' About Brazil And China Switching To 'National Currencies' To Do Business With Each Other.

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  Ed Payne

Ed Payne is a staff writer at Lead Stories. He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist as part of CNN’s coverage of 9/11. Ed worked at CNN for nearly 24 years with the CNN Radio Network and CNN Digital. Most recently, he was a Digital Senior Producer for Gray Television’s Digital Content Center, the company’s digital news hub for 100+ TV stations. Ed also worked as a writer and editor for WebMD. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Ed is the author of two children’s book series: “The Daily Rounds of a Hound” and “Vail’s Tales.” 

Read more about or contact Ed Payne

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