President Joe Biden’s White House apologized after issuing a statement that contained an error about deceased former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson’s (D) family following his passing over the weekend.
Richardson passed on Saturday at 75 years old. However, an initial statement released by Biden’s White House incorrectly claimed Richardson is survived by a daughter named Heather. In reality, Richardson is only survived by his wife Barbara, to whom he was married for over 50 years.
A reporter asked White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about the error during a press briefing this week.
“Can you walk us through how these press releases are fact-checked. He signs off on them in the end and then in this case, how this error was made,” CBS News reporter Weijia Jiang asked.
Jean-Pierre apologized and said the false statement was missed by its fact checkers.
So look, we apologize for the error, certainly. That is not something that, you know, we want to do. We want to make sure that we get this information out clearly and in a straightforward way to the American people. So that was not done intentionally and certainly when we realized that error, it was removed from the website. We do have fact-checkers here, we do have multiple people who take a look at the press releases, especially from the president. This was just a miss, unfortunately, and we apologize for that miss.
Karine Jean-Pierre apologizes for issuing a press release with condolences for former Gov. Bill Richardson's non-existent daughter named Heather:
"We do have fact checkers here" pic.twitter.com/a9ECf6i7ud
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 6, 2023
“Bill Richardson was a friend to the president, and so again, we apologize for that error and certainly that is not something that we want to see happen. It is not a common occurrence, right, that happens from this White House,” the White House press secretary added.
A White House statement later contained an update. The statement concluded:
Bill and I crossed paths for the first time decades ago, when he was a staffer on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which I served on as Senator. Over the years, I saw firsthand his passion for politics, love for America, and unflagging belief that, with respect and good faith, people can come together across any difference, no matter how vast. He was a patriot and true original, and will not be forgotten. Jill and I send our love to his family, including his wife of over 50 years, Barbara.