Tag Archives: Psaki

Jen Psaki Embarrasses Herself and Joe Biden When Confronted on Why Biden Dodges Media Questions

C. Douglas Golden, The Western Journal
December 8, 2021 

On Jan. 24, just days after President Joe Biden took office, official CNN Democrat brown-noser Brian Stelter shared a chyron from his television show on Twitter.

“Psaki Promises to Share ‘Accurate Info’ (How Refreshing),” it read. The insinuation, of course, is that there wasn’t any accurate info from the Trump administration — but don’t worry, help was on the way!

Now, as it turns out, there’s a caveat to that refreshing promise: Psaki will be sharing “accurate info” (if often incomplete or misleading), but if President Joe Biden is going to be sharing information, your questions had better be “on point.”

If they’re on a topic he doesn’t like, he’s not going to answer. (Psaki herself will probably promise to “circle back” to whatever the question was at a later date.)

On Friday, Biden met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Before their meeting, however, the president badmouthed the U.S. media and counseled Modi not to take any questions.

“The Indian press is much better behaved than the American press,” Biden told Modi. “I think, with your permission, you [should] not answer questions because they won’t ask any questions on point.”

That didn’t seem quite so refreshing, particularly after an incident with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier in the week when Biden’s staff shooed away reporters in the Oval Office.

Psaki was called on the carpet by the Washington press corps on Monday, given that reporters weren’t happy at the president telling the Indian prime minister to avoid taking questions. The White House press secretary tried to recontextualize — and made the problem worse in the process.

“I think what he said is that they’re not always on point,” Psaki said.

“Now I know that isn’t something that anyone wants to hear in here, but what I think he was conveying is, today he might want to talk about COVID vaccines, some of the questions were about that,” she continued.

“Some of the questions are not always about the topic he’s talking about in that day. I don’t think it was meant to be a hard cut at the members of the media, people he’s taken questions from today and on Friday as well,” she added.

Another reporter — CBS News Radio’s Steven Portnoy — followed up, saying, “It happened that he was sitting next to the prime minister of India, the world’s largest democracy, when he said that. It also followed the incident on Wednesday when he was sitting next to the prime minister of Great Britain. Is the president reticent to take questions when he’s sitting next to a foreign leader in the Oval Office? Can we expect him to do that in the future?”

There was also one other problem with Biden’s remark, as Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich noted.

“The president said that the Indian press was better behaved than the U.S. press, but the Indian press is ranked 142nd in the world, according to Reporters Without Borders, for press freedoms,” she asked.

“How does he say that about the U.S. press compared to the Indian press?” she asked.

“Well, I would just say to you that, having now worked for the president, serving in this role for nine months, having seen that he’s taken questions from the press more than 140 times, including today and Friday, that he certainly respects the role of the press, the role of the freedom of free press,” Psaki said.

“We ensure that we have press with us, of course, when we travel, that we have press with us for sprays in foreign capitals, and we will continue to. I think that should speak to his commitment to freedom of press around the world.”

It’s worth noting that Psaki had all weekend to work on her answer to this. She knew full well this was going to be one of the things she had to answer when she walked into the Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing of the White House.

The best the press secretary and her team could come up with: You guys need to start asking the kinds of questions the president wants to hear. Talk about what he’s talking about. See, this is why he never takes questions from the press. Focus, people!

It was an embarrassment — to Psaki and the president. And even the shamelessly pro-Biden press corps had to know it.

For whatever reason, Brian Stelter hasn’t weighed in on how refreshing that answer was. Perhaps he missed it.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

‘You Are Saying Something That Is False,’ Sparks Fly Between Psaki And African Reporter

Carmine Sabia
December 4, 2021

EDITORS NOTE: This article contains information that reflects the author’s OPINION

White House Press Secretary is used to Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy criticizing the president and hitting her with tough questions daily, but now the criticism is coming from others.

On Thursday, Simon Ateba, a reporter for Today News Africa, got into a heated exchange with Psaki, who refused to call on him, after she spoke about African travel restrictions.

Earlier in the briefing, a reporter questioned Psaki about the travel restrictions, saying, “just because the Omicron variant is in several states — I’m just wondering if you could talk a little bit about why the travel ban still makes sense.  And I know that you talked about the timeline still being iffy, but could you just maybe explain a little bit more why those travel bans make sense right now?”

Psaki responded by saying, “Well, again, this is all based on — it’s not a decision made out of the White House.  It — ultimately, it’s based on the recommendation — always — of our public health and medical experts.

“They have advised — several days ago — the President to put in place restrictions on a set of countries where we are seeing the variant, specifically in South Africa, spread to hundreds if not thousands of cases and neighboring countries because of the concern about spread,” the press secretary said.

“We will evaluate every day if those restrictions — any of these restrictions should be expanded upon.  But, again, there’s more at this point we’re still learning about the variant that our team is working 24/7 to assess, and I don’t have any prediction of an end to any restrictions or additional ones at this point in time,” she said, The New York Post reported.

Ateba waited to be called on so he could ask her about the restrictions but Psaki never did call, causing the reporter to become frustrated and accuse her of lying.

“You are saying something that is false,” the reporter shouted. “You keep saying that South Africa had thousands of cases.  You know that’s false.  You know that is false.”

“I just answered — Simon, I answered a question on this,” she said as the reporter continued to attempt to ask his question. “Let’s let Patsy ask a question.”

As he continued to shout she said, “Simon, I answered a question on this.  Let Patsy…”

The shouting continued and Psaki admonished him saying, “Simon.  Simon.  I answered a question on this.  Let’s — let’s let Patsy ask a question. It’s not effective to scream over your colleagues in here.  Let’s let Patsy ask a question.”https://www.youtube.com/embed/RpxbaR-5jYo?feature=oembed&enablejsapi=1&origin=https:%2F%2Fconservativebrief.com

The exchange came a day after the same reporter hammered Dr. Anthony Fauci with questions on the restrictions.

“There are zero cases of COVID — of Omicron in Zimbabwe, in Namibia, in Lesotho, in Mozambique,” he said. “What justifies imposing a travel ban on countries that have zero cases of the Omicron variant?”

“But we wanted to see if we could buy time temporarily, so I do hope that this gets sorted out and lifted before it has any significant impact on your country,” the doctor said.

Psaki has defended the travel restrictions even as there are none for Europe, a continent with many cases of Omicron and where the variant may have originated before being found in South Africa.

“I guess I’m just trying to understand why if one person, let’s say in Germany or somewhere else, gets on a plane and comes to the United States, isn’t that person — just as likely to have the variant end up in the United States? Could you just talk a little bit more about the science behind the reasoning there?” PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor said on Monday.

“Well, I think the larger point, Yamiche, is that it is a much larger spread in South Africa than it is at this point in Europe and other countries,” the press secretary said. “We will continue to assess if there are additional restrictions that need to be put in place.”