White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has shown over the last several months that she’s happy to dodge reporters’ questions with a vow to “circle back.” And that dismissive attitude was reportedly on display yet again in a recent interview.
According to Breitbart, Psaki said during an hour-long conversation with CNN’s David Axelrod that questions from Republicans and the media on when Joe Biden will be visiting the U.S.–Mexico border amid an ongoing crisis there are “maddening” as the president focuses on his arguably radical domestic agenda.
Psaki speaks out
Psaki’s comments came Thursday during Axelrod’s The Axe Files podcast.
There, Psaki said the border is an “important issue” that the White House is “focused on,” but insisted that there are other problems that Americans are more concerned about.
“What percentage of the public is focused on the border?” she pressed, according to Breitbart. “A much smaller percentage than who’s focused on the pandemic and the economy. So that may be maddening, but, you know, that’s what we try to do.”
Earlier in her interview, Psaki said her team in the White House communications department has actively discouraged the president from spontaneously interacting with the press. With the recent surge in migration continuing to make headlines, perhaps they’re worried he can’t take the heat.
“That is not something we recommend,” Psaki said of Biden’s tendency to take questions from reporters on a near-daily basis, according to USA Today. “In fact, a lot of times we say ‘Don’t take questions.’ You know, but he’s going to do what he wants to do because he’s the president of the United States.”
Press secretary deflects
Speaking later on the topic of the border, Axelrod asked the top White House spokeswoman about the “wrestling match” between herself and the press on whether the situation there amounts to a “crisis.”
In response, Psaki suggested the biggest “driver” of the issue is sensationalism in the media. “White House in crisis!” she mocked, according to Fox News.
“Sometimes the chyrons, the social media leads, they’re looking for the nugget right? And we were pushed and pushed and pushed,” she explained. “We’ve seen surges at the border… Every time it happens it’s bad.”
The press secretary insisted that in the eyes of the Biden administration, “that wasn’t really a crisis, it was a huge challenge.”
Only time will tell when they’ll finally start opening their eyes and accepting the truth.