A day after President Biden announced a ban on Russian oil and as gas prices surged to record highs, The Psaki Show featured hardballs Wednesday afternoon on the impact of the Biden economy on consumers. Chiefly, questions from Fox News’s Peter Doocy and Fox Business’s Edward Lawrence led Psaki to struggle to defend the White House’s policies on inflation, gas prices, and a refusal to support expanded domestic energy production.
First, to Lawrence’s fact-checking of Team Biden. He began by calling out their continued flaunting of “green energy” as Americans struggle to stay afloat, let alone purchase an electric car.
“Gas prices have risen...every month since the President has been in office. So, is the feeling then...that the American people just have to wait until 2030 when the President set his goal for...cars being sold with zero emissions,” he wondered.
Psaki said they’re not doing that and it’s “never been our theory” and, on gas prices, she argued Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s entirely to blame.
Following quotes she said supported her (when they were really warning of additional increases), Lawrence pushed back and added on a request for her to state “what specifically the administration has done...to bring down inflation.”
Psaki offered a lengthy answer that amounted to little, ranging from “reduc[ing] [port] bottlenecks” to semiconductor legislation to claims that “we’ve seen inflationary pressure — or inflationary numbers go down month to month — even as we looked at the year-to-year numbers go up.”
Doocy Time arrived a few minutes later and started with a simple question: “Why did you guys decide to rebrand the rise in gas prices as the ‘#PutinPriceHike.’” That was followed by a second part:
[W]e have heard the President warn for months that gas prices were rising because of the supply chain and because of post-pandemic demand. If you guys knew for months that this was going to be the #PutinPriceHike, why are we just hearing that now?
After Psaki doubled down, Doocy shifted to drilling, with the Biden flack suggesting permitting was all that needed to happen before drilling (which the American Petroleum Institute has fact-checked) (click “expand”):
DOOCY: [Y]ou and the President are both talking about producing energy here, saying that oil and gas companies “have 9,000 permits to drill now. They could be drilling right now.” Would President Biden cut red tape to make that possible?
PSAKI: What red tape needs to be cut when they have the permits? They have the capacity to do it? What’s holding them up?
DOOCY: Does President Biden think that each of these 9,000 leases that are available have oil or gas in them? Because industry experts are saying that “that accusation is a complete red herring”; “some permits are viable and some are not”; and that when you say that, “This represents a fundamental misunderstanding as to how this process works.”
PSAKI: Well, first of all, the — nearly 60 percent of leased acres remain non-producing — that’s a lot — in the range of 20 million acres, so there are 9,000 unused approved permits to drill in. They should not require — that should not require us inviting them to do that. They should do that themselves.
DOOCY: But you said they can’t get the additional permits, so would the President —
PSAKI: What additional permits do they need? There’s no — they have — the leases are there. The permits are there. I don’t think they need an embroidered invitation to drill. That is their oil companies. What is — what is happening —
DOOCY: It’s not an embroidered invitation, it’s a federal permit.
PSAKI: — what is happening — what is ha- — but what was is — the permits have been granted, Peter.
DOOCY: It’s not just one permit though. Would you —
PSAKI: What is happening here is that we are seeing — these are private sector companies. We recognize that. Many of them are making record profits. We see that that. That is all publicly available data. They have pressure to return cash to investors and their shareholders. What we’re saying right now is: There is a war. We’re asking them to go use the approved permits, use the unused space, and go get more supply out of the ground in our own country.
Doocy tried to make things simpler, wondering “a restart of the Keystone XL construction” is “completely off the table as long as Joe Biden is President.”
When Psaki replied that Doocy should “tell” her “what that would help address,” the Fox correspondent noted that the administration has said “all options are on the table” amid an energy crisis.
Doocy also wondered why we’re not partnering with “a friendly ally,” but Psaki maintained “the pipeline is just the delivery mechanism” and “not an oil field.”
Doocy tried one last time on Keystone restarting, but Psaki sniped that “it would not address any of the problems we’re having.”
Rewinding to the beginning, the New York Post’s Steven Nelson drew some ugly answers from Psaki when it came to Florida’s parental rights legislation that leftists have co-opted as a “Don’t Say Gay” bill. For Nelson, he pointed out Biden’s hypocrisy on the issue dating back to 1994.
In addition, he asked about government cybersecurity as it relates to allegations raised in the Durham probe (click “expand”):
NELSON: Regarding the Florida bill: In 1994, when many of us in this room were in school, President Biden actually voted for a much broader restriction that banned federal funds from being used for, “the promotion of homosexuality as a positive lifestyle alternative.” Why did he do that? And can you describe how his thinking has evolved over the years?
PSAKI: Well, I think that you have seen the President speak passionately about his view that a bill like this — a bill that would discriminate against families, against kids, put these kids in a position of not getting the support they need at a time where that’s exactly what they need — is discriminatory. It’s a form of bullying. It is horrific. I mean, the President has spoken to that. In terms of his views and comments from 25 years ago, I think the most important question now is: Why are Florida leaders deciding they need to discriminate against kids who are members of the LGBTQI community? What prompts them to do that? Is it meanness? Is it wanting to make kids have more difficult times in school, in their communities? I would pose that question to them, and we can talk about it more tomorrow if you get an answer.
NELSON: Was there a reason he supported the same policy, though, in the ’90s when we were all in school?
PSAKI: I think what’s important to note here is how outspoken the President has been against discrimination against kids, against members of the LGBTQI+ community and what we’re looking at here is a bill that would propagate misinformed, hateful policies and impact children — so that’s the question I hope — maybe you can pose that to some of the leaders in Florida. Maybe they’ll return your phone calls and I’ll look forward to having a conversation with you.
NELSON: [A]ccording to a recent court filing by Special Counsel Durham, there was a technology executive who was, “mining” the Executive Office of the President’s DNS traffic and other data. CISA, the federal agency for cybersecurity, said in a 2020 document that DNS data can be sensitive and that’s important to secure. There are competing narratives, of course, about what data was actually implicated. So could you share with us what data was implicated in this and whether the White House has any security or privacy concerns regarding this alleged review?
PSAKI: I have nothing further to comment on...Obviously, this is an investigation. I point you to the Department of Justice, members of Congress. Obviously, we have serious respect for people’s privacy in the country.
Following Nelson, Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann pointed out the fact that we’re “to believe that,” while we’re “preparing to send billions in aid” to the war-torn country, there’s a “logistical bottleneck...stopping us from getting” Polish jets to Ukraine.
Psaki ruled that it is indeed a problem, but after the briefing, Wegmann tweeted a photo of jets indeed being put on railcars.
To see the relevant briefing transcript from March 9 (including important Venezuela questions from CBS’s Ed O’Keefe and one from HuffPost’s S.V. Date sucking up to Russia by lamenting the affect of sanctions on the Russian people), click here.