Watch Jen Psaki Crush Reporter Who Tries to Suggest Biden is the Same as Trump
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is not known to mince words with reporters and that was on full display when a tense exchange developed between her and The New York Times’ White House correspondent Michael Shear during a press briefing. Some critics claim President Joe Biden is acting too much like his predecessor, Donald Trump, Mediaite reports.
“There’ve been a number of issues in the last, say, several weeks in which advocates, allies of the president are describing him as Trump-like, less in terms of his personality in sort of tone and tenor, obviously, but in terms of policy,” Shearer said. “Even today, representative of the Cuban government describing the frustration with the president continuing to maintain Trump-era policies vis-à-vis Cuba.”
In an interview, Thursday, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla aired some frustrations with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell by noting, “Maybe there is an inertia effect. It’s a pity that President Biden couldn’t implement his own policy toward Cuba. It’s a terrible mistake to continue implementing this kind of cruel sanctions, even sanctions during a pandemic.”
During his time in office, Trump reversed most of former President Barack Obama’s policies on Cuba. These policies included relaxing travel and trade restrictions with the tiny Communist island nation.
“What’s the president’s reaction and does he accept that in some areas of policy he is in agreement with the former president?” Shear asked.
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Psaki clearly wasn’t having it.
“So, just for the sake of argument here, not argument but discussion, beyond the representative of the Cuban government, who,” Psaki began to say, before being interrupted by Shear, who mentioned “Afghanistan, immigration,” as examples that have led to comparisons between Biden and Trump.
Psaki fired back:
“But who?” she said. “Who are we talking about here? Who is saying the president is like Trump?”
Shear’s response was that he could “find” Psaki “quotes” in The New York Times as well as other sources including “immigration advocates” and “folks” in the Afghanistan debate.
“There have been numerous on-the-record descriptions of the president embracing, and it’s actually in some ways just a factual thing…,” Shear said, but now it was Psaki’s turn to jump in, and she asked “But, like, on what policy? On what policy sir? You can name people or what specific policies.”
At this point, Shear cited Biden’s keeping the deal Trump brokered with the Taliban, the deal in which the U.S. withdrew from Afghanistan as well as the administration’s maintaining the enactment of Title 42, a category that allows for the expulsions of people considered to be health risks.
The tense discussion carried on throughout much of the briefing with Psaki responding at one point that in regards to Afghanistan, it’s the Trump administration that struck the deal with the Taliban, “without the Afghan government.” That, she noted is what resulted in the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners. Citing testimony from senior Pentagon leadership in front of Congress this week, she added that the deal “lead to the demoralization of the Afghan security forces and the Afghan government.”
“I would say the president took a pretty different approach than that in ending a war that the former president didn’t end,” she said. “Something that the American people strongly support.”
As for Title 42, she added that “Title 42 is a public health requirement. Because we’re in the middle of a pandemic, which by the way, we would have made progress on had the former president actually addressed the pandemic and not suggest that people inject bleach.”
“So I think we’re in a bit of a different place,” she said. “I’m happy to discuss more examples. I didn’t think people would be pretty hard-pressed to argue that the president has taken any aspect of the former president’s playbook and used it as a model of his own.”
At one point Shear mentioned Biden’s maintaining tariffs on China, but Psaki didn’t touch on that. It’s anyone’s guess as to why, but she deftly kept Shear in his place, that’s for sure. Psaki can parry with the best of them without bending.
Considering that we had to deal with Kayleigh McEnany and her lies during the previous administration, Psaki’s toughness is really kind of refreshing.
Psaki: …because we’re in the middle of a pandemic which by the way, we would’ve made progress on had the former President addressed the pandemic and not suggest people inject bleach pic.twitter.com/xMWIGg7KDD
— Acyn (@Acyn) September 30, 2021