Outgoing White House press secretary Jen Psaki long ago proved herself to be a dishonest partisan hack and inveterate liar on behalf of the president, and she just provided one more example of such on her penultimate day on the job.
Psaki was asked Thursday if taxpayer funds were used to purchase crack pipes as part of safe-smoking kits distributed to harm reduction centers for drug addicts, and the press secretary unequivocally denied that to be the case and dismissed claims to that effect as a “conspiracy theory,” Fox News reported.
Except, a recent report showed that safe-smoking kits obtained in five major East Coast cities — the same sort of kits that are or will be funded by $30 million in grants from the Department of Health and Human Services — did indeed contain glass crack pipes and other assorted drug paraphernalia.
Psaki lies about crack pipe “conspiracy theory”
There had been initial reports in February about HHS grant money funded by taxpayers being distributed to nonprofit groups to purchase safe-smoking kits for drug addicts containing crack pipes and the White House had also denied those reports at that time.
During Thursday’s briefing, a reporter referenced both that prior denial as well as a new report confirming the inclusion of crack pipes in the kits and asked Psaki directly if taxpayer money had been used to purchase the drug paraphernalia.
“No federal funding has gone to it,” Psaki replied, and when pressed if there was any oversight to ensure that was the case, she said, “This policy does not allow for crack pipes to be included.”
“I would just note that this is a bit of a conspiracy theory that’s been spread out there. It’s not accurate,” the press secretary added. “There’s important drug treatment programs for people who have been suffering from what we’ve seen as an epidemic across the country, and money is not used for crack pipes.”
Crack pipes are included in safe-smoking kits
However, as reported by The Washington Free Beacon, safe-smoking kits obtained in five major East Coast cities all included crack pipes among the various other contents, such as copper mesh to help hold crack rocks, alcohol swabs and lip balm, and, in some cases, pipes for smoking meth, syringe needles for injecting drugs, and plastic straws for snorting them.
In addition to personally visiting and obtaining the kits at harm reduction centers in the five cities — Baltimore, Maryland; Boston, Massachusetts; New York City, New York; Richmond, Virginia; and Washington D.C. — Free Beacon reporter Patrick Hauf also called two dozen other centers and nearly all of them included crack pipes in the kits they handed out.
To be sure, it was acknowledged by the outlet that it was unclear if all or some of those centers had applied for or received federal grant funding for the kits, and the reporter’s questions in that regard were almost entirely ignored. That said, the center visited in D.C. has in the past received at least $3.1 million in grant funding from the same division within HHS that oversees harm reduction programs.
Can’t debate the issue if one side is lying
While there is some merit to the idea of helping drug addicts by reducing some of the inherent harm in their behavior, a great many American taxpayers would likely balk at their money, and not simply voluntary donations from private citizens, being used to perpetuate drug addiction, be it in a safe manner or not.
Yet, that is a debate that can’t be discussed if the White House is blatantly lying about the issue and dismissing questions in that regard as nothing more than a “conspiracy theory” unworthy of any consideration or a straight answer.