Less than two weeks into the new Biden administration White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is earning a reputation as a no-nonsense, no rumor-mongering, no guff leader in the briefing room who is determined to set an appropriate tone.
On Monday one reporter asked about President Joe Biden meeting with Republicans on a COVID relief bill today. He tried to stir up trouble. It didn’t go over well.
“There are Democrats who are seeing that the first meeting the President is having face-to-face with lawmakers is with Republicans and not Democrats. Why is the White House doing that?” asked CBS News’ Ed O’Keefe.
“Are there any specific Democrats you want to call out?” Psaki offered.
“No, but it’s been talked about,” he replied.
“Just people talking about it in hallways? Ok,” Psaki responded, effectively though politely dismissing the question he couldn’t back up, and sending a strong message to the press that gossip won’t be entertained in the briefing room.
Psaki calls out a reporter for asking a “many people are saying” question he can’t back up pic.twitter.com/OyweIQiVwB
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 1, 2021
Taking another polite jab at critics, Psaki also noted that last week she was getting attacked by the right for not lying or making up answers, but promising reporters if she didn’t have an answer for them she would “circle back later.”
On Monday, she kept her word, telling them, “I often note, ‘I’m going to circle back’ — I hate to disappoint conservative Twitter, but I’m going to circle back on a number of things,” and proceeded to – invalidating the criticism from right wing social media extremists.
Jen Psaki circles back: ‘I often note, ‘I’m going to circle back’ — I hate to disappoint conservative Twitter, but I’m going to circle back on a number of things’ pic.twitter.com/g0TkKowqaX
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) February 1, 2021
Fox News host Sean Hannity’s website described her remarks by falsely claiming she “confused millions.”
“White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confused millions of Americans during her daily press briefing Monday; saying she was going to ‘disappoint Conservative Twitter’ by ‘circling back on a number of things.'”
(There probably are not “millions” even watching the White House press briefing.)
And finally, another reporter asked if the disgraced former president, Donald Trump, being banned from Twitter had made her job, and the administration’s job, easier.
“This may be hard to believe. We don’t spend a lot of time thinking about or talking about President Trump here, former President Trump, to be very clear,” she replied.
“I can’t say we miss him on Twitter.”
In response to a bizarre line of questioning about Twitter banning Trump's Twitter account, Psaki says "I can't say we miss him on Twitter." pic.twitter.com/KLl4H1LhJA
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 1, 2021
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