Marking another day in the White House Briefing Room rotation, Fox News’s Peter Doocy had quite a Tuesday as he was able to both question Press Secretary Jen Psaki on the federal government’s border crisis and their voting disinformation campaign and President Joe Biden on China’s culpability in the coronavirus pandemic and Georgia’s voting law.
Doocy experienced a once-in-a-blue-moon moment when Biden acknowledged him after a speech about the coronavirus, so Doocy asked him about this week’s golf major in August, Georgia: “Mr. President, do you think The Master's golf tournament should be moved out of Georgia?”
With such an open-ended question, Doocy got Biden to further the liberal media’s Big Lie and express approval of how “for-profit operations and businesses are speaking up” and following his wishes in denouncing “these new Jim Crow laws” since they’re “antithetical to who we are.”
Despite the thumbs on the scale, Biden conceded that the campaign (which he supported) to move the MLB All-Star Game from Atlanta will hurt working people the most.
Doocy later closed out the impromptu media Q&A with a question about China:
DOOCY: Just one more on COVID, Mr. President. You mentioned 564,000 Americans dead from COVID-19. A lot of families want to know how this happened. How it got here. Have you had a chance to speak to any of your international partners? Any of — President Xi, who I know you go way back with. Have you had a chance to ask him if these reports are true that China maybe mislead world at the beginning?
BIDEN: No, I have not had that conservation with President Xi.
A few hours earlier, Doocy was the second reporter called on during the briefing and began with immigration. He used his first two questions to press Psaki on the dangerous reality that terrorists could take advantage of our porous southern border and the other on the administration resuming construction of former President Trump’s border wall.
In response, Psaki downplayed both the security concern and the irony that the current White House might restart construction of something they were virulently against during the campaign (click “expand”):
DOOCY: The FBI keeps a watch list of information about people who are known or reasonably suspected of being involved in terror activities. Two people on it from Yemen have been apprehended at the border. How concerned is President Biden about terrorists possibly trying to take advantage of gaps in the border to get in and kill Americans?
PSAKI: Well first, let me convey that these type of incidents are very uncommon and CBP and DHS can speak more to the timeline and the specifics, of course, in these particular cases and encounters. But encounters of known and suspected terrorists are very uncommon. They do underscore the importance of the critical work that is done on a daily basis to vet those at the border. DHS works not just at the border, as you know, but also with international partners to share intelligence and other information, including to prevent individuals on certain watch lists from entering the United States. They adjudicate individuals encountered at and between ports of entry against several classified and unclassified databases, so while this is rare, this is a reflection of them doing their jobs.
DOOCY: Another quick one about the border. The DHS secretary is reportedly looking to finish some gaps in the southern border. How does that fit with President Biden’s day one executive order to stop border wall construction?
PSAKI: Well, while construction remains paused to the extent permitted by law so some has already been funded through congressional authorization and funding allocation, but as agencies develop for a plan — it’s paused while agencies are developing a plan for the President on the management of the federal funds. When the administration took office, as you referenced, funds had been diverted from congressionally appropriated military construction projects and other appropriated purposes, toward building the wall and wall construction was being challenged in multiple lawsuits. And for much of the wall, I should say, not all of it, by plaintiffs who alleged serious environmental and safety issues. Under those circumstances, federal agencies are continuing to review wall contracts and develop a plan to submit to the President soon. It is paused. There is some limited construction that has been funded and allocated for, but it is otherwise paused.
Doocy’s third question went at yet another liberal irony as MLB moved the All-Star Game to Colorado even though “voting regulations are very similar to Georgia.”
Psaki said she rejected the premise of his question, arguing that Colorado’s same-day registration and policy of sending ballot applications to every eligible voter made the state more friendly to voting.
Of course, this ignored the fact that Colorado has fewer early voting days than Georgia and still requires identification (and yes, Daniel Dale, presenting a bill as proof of residence instead of a driver’s license is still ID). And on the sacred cow of giving food and drink to voters, Colorado forbids that if the workers are wearing supportive of a candidate, measure, or party.
She went onto add that the Georgia law wasn’t even worth considering because it was “built on a lie” about the 2020 election and insisted it was passed to make Black Georgians suffer.
Following Doocy, NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell followed up on Georgia and asked whether Biden had realized his support for moving the All-Star Game would have “economic consequences to people in Georgia” and, if so, did he have “a sense of regret that perhaps he tipped the scale with his rhetoric.”
Psaki spun that Biden was merely answering a question during his ESPN interview and said that the White House isn’t calling for boycotts even though the law was built on “easily disprovable conspiracy theories.”
Note how Biden and Psaki refused to acknowledge the fact that MLB chose to move their game to an extremely white city and away from one that's roughly half African-American.
Reuters’s Trevor Hunnicutt was more willing to play ball, inviting Psaki to lament about the supposedly poisonous nature of “disinformation” peddled by “Republicans” about everything from the need to secure elections to (false) claims about the January 6 insurrection being “led by left-wing agitators.”
Right on cue, Psaki concurred that there’s been a “prevalence of disinformation is something that is of concern to the President” due to insufficient tech censorship and “individual actors who are promoting and provoking destabilizing activities and actions through their rhetoric.”
To see notable exchanges with ABC’s Karen Travers on coronavirus restrictions and EWTN’s Owen Jensen about the Equality Act harming Catholics and rampant violence on the streets of Chicago, click “expand.”
White House press briefing
April 6, 2021
12:34 p.m. Eastern
KAREN TRAVERS: The President continues to urge Americans to be vigilant. We expect he’ll do that today in his remarks, but over the weekend, we saw Americans traveling for the holiday weekend. We saw totally packed baseball stadium in Texas yesterday. Basically, there are Americans across the country who are doing exactly what the President is telling them not to do. Is the message — are Americans not hearing this or they hearing it and ignoring it?
PSAKI: You know, I think the President recognizes that this has been a long and difficult journey for the American public. We’ve been — the country has been shut down in one form or another for more than a year now and people have missed birthday parties, weddings, baseball games, going out to restaurants. It is difficult. It is hard and what he’s asking people to do is to sacrifice a little bit longer and he will continue to make that case and make that argument. Now, while we saw the — the baseball game as you — as you noted and other events over the weekend, and we certainly anticipate as the weather gets warmer, there will be a temptation. We’ve also seen communities where local mayors, businesses have conveyed to their communities that we need to hang together. We need to remain vigilant. We need to wear masks and we will get through this together. So we are hopeful that that’s exactly what the majority of communities in this country will do.
12:55 p.m. Eastern
OWEN JENSEN: What does the President, who we know is Catholic, say it to Catholic doctors, Catholic institutions, who are fearful that if the Equality Act passes, it has the potential to trample on their conscience rights? What does the President say to those people who are concerned about that?
PSAKI: He has a difference of opinion and he respects their difference of opinion, but he has been a supporter of the Equality Act and he also is a practicing Catholic and attends church nearly every week. Go ahead, Kelly. Oh, go ahead.
JENSEN: Separate question here. Chicago saw 131 homicides through March of this year. Last year at this time 98. The White House’s reaction to that number and then is there anything the federal government is planning or willing to do to step into the city of Chicago and tamp down the deadly violence? Just recently, a 13 year old boy was shot and killed there.
PSAKI: Well, I appreciate you raising the fact that there’s a prevalence of violence, sometimes at the hands of guns, something the President has fought for throughout his career, which is ensuring that we put in place more gun safety measures. We work with communities to invest in community violence prevention. He’s actually proposed funding to do exactly that, something that many groups support, because they believe in order reduce violence, in order to address the prevalence of violence in communities like some in Chicago, that we need to spend the money from the federal government to do exactly that.
JENSEN: Can the federal government put any resources right now immediately, rather than waiting for laws and waiting for, you know, community events or what have you to take place? People are dying on the streets by the day.
PSAKI: Well, again, I appreciate you raising it because one thing we don’t talk about enough is the fact that beyond mass shootings, there are additional people who die in cities, sometimes young kids, nearly every single day as a result of violence. He has proposed funding. We would support acting on that and that’s what we’ll continue to advocate, but I think we’ve got to move on.