Political dogfight: White House slams call for Biden pooch to be shot

Commander, US President Joe Biden's dog, is now living with family members (SAUL LOEB)
Commander, US President Joe Biden's dog, is now living with family members (SAUL LOEB)
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The White House bared its teeth Monday at a "disturbing" political opponent who called for President Joe Biden's dog to be put down, days after she revealed she had shot her own family's pet.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, a potential Donald Trump 2024 running-mate, said Biden's dog Commander should meet a similar fate as her own pup for biting several Secret Service agents.

Biden's Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said it was Noem, 52, a darling of the Republican right, who should be in the dog house.

"We find her comments from yesterday disturbing, we find them absurd," Jean-Pierre told a briefing. "This is a country that loves dogs and you have a leader talking about putting dogs down."

Noem "should probably stop digging herself in a hole," added Jean-Pierre.

Noem shocked Americans by saying in a forthcoming memoir that, after a hunting excursion gone awry, she shot and killed her own "untrainable" 14-month-old dog Cricket.

She added that if she got to the White House alongside Trump in November's election she would make "Commander say hello to Cricket."

"Joe Biden's dog has attacked 24 Secret Service people. So how many people is enough people to be attacked and dangerously hurt before you make a decision on a dog?" Noem told CBS's Face the Nation program on Sunday.

"That's the question that the president should be held accountable to."

Commander was sent to live with family members after the two-year-old German Shepherd, who came to the White House as a cute pup in 2021, had trouble settling in and bit at least 11 Secret Service agents.

It was not the only part of Noem's new book to raise eyebrows.

She was forced to backpedal over a claim in her book that she had met North Korean leader King Jong Un, with a spokesman saying it would be "corrected" in future editions.

Noem said she could "remember when I met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un" and said that she was "sure he underestimated me."

dk/bjt