Politics - News Analysis

Jen Psaki Patiently Squeezes the Life Out of a Question: Reporter Asks if Biden Regrets Criticizing Trump on Russian Bounties

We all remember the shocking report. U.S. intelligence reported the possibility that the Russian government may be paying bounties on the lives of U.S. Troops. We will never, ever, forget Trump’s response. He left the troops out hanging.

Trump responded that the intelligence reports were vague, not verified, and perhaps unreliable, maybe not true.

Maybe so. But any real president follows that line up with: “Thus, I have given the intelligence agencies ten days to get me a real answer, yes or no, this is far too important to leave unanswered. I have also called in the Russian ambassador into the Oval Office and let him know that if I find out this happened even once it is an act of war and the U.S. will take action. I called President Putin and warned him to not even consider it and confess right now if there was such a program and it would be taken into consideration. I have also asked our ambassador to Russia to meet with Russian officials and ask for explanations as to why this is even in question.

“Let me repeat, any reward or enticement that puts American troops in danger will be considered an act of war and will not be tolerated.”

Trump did not say any such thing. He waved it off. The intelligence wasn’t “certain.” Biden went nuts. Hell, we went nuts.

Today a reporter asked if Biden regrets attacking Trump so vociferously, now that we’ve learned – from the Biden administration – that the intelligence was judged to be “low to moderate” reliability.

Psaki is never better than when challenged by these types of questions. She patiently unleashed a devastating answer. From Mediaite: (Watch how Psaki’s language tracks everything we said above, only in a more diplomatic tone, as appropriate from the White House briefing room):

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Psaki told reporters that the possibility of the Russians offering bounties to the Taliban raised “enough of a cause of concern” for the intelligence community to look into it. She also argued that the “low to moderate confidence” stems from the challenges of ascertaining intelligence in Afghanistan.

“Given that assessment,” Psaki was asked, “does the president have any regrets for how many times he attacked President Trump on the campaign about this issue for not taking action related to Russian bounties?

“I’m not gonna speak to the previous administration,” she responded. “But I will say we had enough concern about these reports and about the targeting of our men and women serving, the men and women who are proudly serving around the world, that we wanted our intelligence community to look into it.”

She notes that “even the possibility” is a huge issue, and causes concern. “Low to moderate concern” IS a concern, and because it is difficult one would want to pour resources into the area and find out! She notes that Trump did NOT take action. She says that Biden WAS concerned enough that he wanted action taken.

Jen Psaki just answered everything we had noted above. But she is the White House Press Secretary and the world expects understatement from the press room (and threats to be made over the phone) but she relayed an answer that was perfectly accurate and perfectly appropriate.

In a word? “NO.” The Biden administration has no regrets in attacking Trump over Russian bounties, except for perhaps not attacking enough.

Peace, y’all
[email protected] and on Twitter @JasonMiciak

meet the author

Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic that cannot add and loves dogs more than most people. He also likes studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.


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