White House press secretary Jen Psaki now has the task of trying to downplay and find excuses for a now-viral video of her seemingly mocking a discussion that took place on Fox News about the repercussions of “soft-on-crime” policies, making the claim that she was just responding to a chyron.
In said video, Psaki highlighted the fact that while CNN and MSNBC were taking time to cover the American response to the looming Russian invasion of Ukraine –and CNBC was “doing their own thing about the market” — The reporters at FOx News has Judge Jeanine Pirro speaking about the fallout of “soft on crime” policies. “What does that even mean, right?” Psaki exclaimed before laughing. “So there’s an alternative universe on some coverage. What’s scary about it is a lot of people watch that.”
Jen Psaki mocks people discussing the “consequences” of “soft-on-crime” policies: “What does that even mean?” pic.twitter.com/C1KEnXVIQI
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 31, 2022
Jacqui Heinrich, the White House correspondent for Fox News, questioned Psaki on this directly as part of the press briefing on Monday, asking if her statements on the “Pod Save America” podcast had been just her personal opinion on the matter or of the priorities of the White House.
JACQUI TIME: "Your appearance on Pod Save America" mentioned "one line has prompted some criticism…'Soft on crime consequences? What even is that?' Were you speaking in your personal opinion or…the priorities of" the WH?
Psaki says Fox has unfairly criticized them on crime. pic.twitter.com/h6n392tYRm
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) January 31, 2022
Psaki answered that her statements had been taken entirely out of context and that she had just been reacting to a chyron on Fox News. She then swapped tactics to attacking the network, claiming that Fox News had been outright unfair to Old Uncle Joe and his administration.
“I would encourage anyone to listen to the full context of the interview and the conversation,” stated the press secretary. “What I was speaking to was a chyron on Fox News, since you raised it, which suggested this administration is soft on crime with no basis, given we have had many conversations and back and forth with you and your colleagues about the prioritization of the president to ensure that we are working as close partners with leaders, whether it is [New York City] Mayor [Eric] Adams, who he’s going to spend the day with on Thursday, or others in the country, and the facts speak for themselves. This is what I was talking about in the interview for the full context.”
She then continued on to claim that the American Rescue Plan had included additional resources for police officials and forces, seemingly trying to blame Republicans for being against the massively overloaded and bloated spending package, and making the argument that Biden was just trying to push for larger increases in law enforcement funding than that of the former administration under Donald Trump.
“And the other fact that is never talked about in these Fox packages, maybe even this one, is the fact that gun crime is a major driver of crime across the country, also a fact. So those are pieces I think in that moment I was speaking to and, again, we are about the facts here, and addressing crime is something that is a root of the president’s agenda,” She stated in conclusion, with yet another attack on Fox News directly.