White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre is expected to hold a daily press briefing on Tuesday amid ongoing questions over U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan, the resulting tensions with China and the recent announcement by President Joe Biden that al-Qaida’s top leader was killed in a CIA drone strike.
Pelosi arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday night local time, becoming the highest-ranking American official to visit the self-ruled island that is claimed by China in 25 years. It came even as China had warned of “resolute and strong measures” if Pelosi went ahead with the trip.
The Biden administration had not explicitly urged her to call it off, but also sought to assure Beijing the trip would signal any change in U.S. policy on Taiwan, however China’s foreign minister said Washington’s betrayal “on the Taiwan issue is bankrupting its national credibility.”
Jean-Pierre is also likely to face more questions on the death of al-Qaida’s top leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was killed in a CIA drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday.
According to Biden during an announcement on Monday, al-Zawahiri had been the leader of al-Qaida since Osama Bin Laden was killed by the U.S. 11 years earlier.
According to the president, Zawahiri was sheltering in a safehouse in Kabul and was killed in “a precise tailored airstrike” using two Hellfire missiles, in the biggest blow to the militant group since Bin Laden was killed in 2011. The drone strike was conducted after being authorized by Biden following weeks of meetings with his cabinet and key advisers, the president said in his remarks. No American personnel were on the ground in Kabul at the time of the strike.
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