Politics - News Analysis

Jen Psaki is Seriously Losing Her Patience with Peter Doocy: ‘That’s Not Actually True!’

Peter Doocy has yet to figure out how to interview a press secretary, during a press conference, and come out with some kind of useful answer. Nearly everyone reading this knows that if one wants a real answer to a question, you ask a question that must be substantively answered:

“Of the president’s priorities right now, is immigration above the economy, or COVID? Where does he believe it fits in national issues right now?”

Psaki would duck and dodge, but it would at least put Psaki on the hot seat a bit. Doocy has yet to figure out this simple tactic. Instead, he tries to shape the answer with the question, giving Psaki plenty of opportunity to humiliate him.

As the latest example, on Wednesday, after Doocy claimed that the Biden administration has not worked to pass immigration legislation. Psaki began to shake her head and Doocy kept going with: “Unified Democratic control of Congress, many months in office, you have not even tried.”

The You have not even tried might be the single easiest comment/question Psaki has ever encountered in the press room. Having lunch with Pelosi and Schumer, talking about ideas as to how to do it is “trying.” The word “trying” is so open-ended that Psaki just let Doocy have it with more attitude than usual, which is becoming a thing between the two now:

PSAKI: “That’s not actually true. Peter, just factual here. There’s been a bill proposed first day in office, steps were proposed as part of the reconciliation process. The [Senate] parliamentarian rejected that proposal. We’re going back and proposing new options.”

The “Peter, just factual here,” is just hammering. She all but called him a liar, well – she did call him a liar, “just” factual here, instead of your version. Peter might want to take some lessons on framing questions that near forces a press secretary into an answer… “Was the president disappointed when the parliamentarian rejected that proposal? And if so, what action did he take from that point to address it?”

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It is so easy. And it is so beyond Peter.

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[email protected] and on Twitter @JasonMiciak

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