Hilarity ensued on social media after White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre issued another malapropism, this time confusing the Nord Stream Pipeline in Europe, a source of international controversy, with the department store Nordstrom.
Jean-Pierre was asked at the White House press briefing on Tuesday about the energy crisis facing the United Kingdom and whether the United States could offer any assistance to help the UK lower energy costs domestically.
“So you’ve heard us say this: that what we see Russia’s doing, we’ve been very clear about this, is that they’re using energy, they’re weaponizing energy. And it’s choosing to — one of the things that has been out there, they shut down the pipeline of Nordstrom 1,” Jean-Pierre replied.
Jean-Pierre refers to the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline as the “Nordstrom” pipeline
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) September 6, 2022
Social media mocked Jean-Pierre’s mix-up:
There is *one* slight difference:@Nordstrom has excellent customer service.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) September 7, 2022
Not sure what’s worse, that Karine Jean Pierre just called it The NORDSTROM Pipeline, or that Biden yelled at his TV, “no dummy it’s Bloomingdales.”
— Jimmy Failla (@jimmyfailla) September 6, 2022
This was not a slip of the tongue.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) September 6, 2022
. @Nordstrom psyched to learn its retail portfolio also includes a pipeline!
— Monica Crowley (@MonicaCrowley) September 6, 2022
Don’t look now. Russia is attacking Nordstrom. Look out Macy’s! https://t.co/Y3zVef4XYj
— Chris Stigall (@ChrisStigall) September 6, 2022
The Nord Stream 1 pipeline, opened in 2011, runs approximately 750 miles under the Baltic Sea from an area near St. Petersburg to north-eastern Germany. The Nord Stream 2 pipeline runs parallel to Nord Stream 1, but its construction was interrupted when Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine.
In February 2021, Gazprom, a majority-state owned Russian energy company, resumed laying the pipeline on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. The company had temporarily halted laying the pipeline after former President Trump had threatened sanctions.
President Biden had a different position than Trump. Axios reported in May 2021, “The State Department will also acknowledge that the corporate entity in charge of the project (Nord Stream 2 AG) and its CEO (Putin crony and former East German intelligence officer Matthias Warnig) are engaged in sanctionable activities. However, the State Department will waive the applications of those sanctions, citing U.S. national interests.”
“If true, President Biden just delivered a huge victory to Vladimir Putin, who will now have a stranglehold over Europe’s natural gas supplies,” Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) charged. “Then-candidate Biden promised to be tough on Russia, but it is increasingly clear that was just campaign rhetoric. There is absolutely no excuse for giving Putin more leverage over our allies and partners, including Ukraine. It is dangerous, naïve, deceitful, and weak.”
Last week, Gazprom said it would not restart the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany, claiming oil leaks were found. “Until the equipment malfunctions are corrected, gas transport to the Nord Stream gas pipeline is completely stopped,” Gazprom said.
“The EU has been scrambling to lessen its dependence on Russian gas, which accounted for 40 percent of imports last year,” Politico reported.