Press Secretary of the White House Jen Psaki seemed to crumble under the pressure at a press conference held this past Tuesday. At the conference, reporters repeatedly pressed her for the administration’s answers on President Joe Biden’s border crisis.
One of the most volatile exchanges started when a reporter asked Press Secretary Psaki if the newly reported-on statistics about the crisis at the border were true. Press Secretary Psaki retorted with a claim that the reporter should be asking the Department of Homeland Security about the numbers because “It’s not our program.” The Biden Administration is in charge of and runs the Department of Homeland Security; what with Biden’s nominee to lead the department, Alejandro Mayorkas, being confirmed by the U.S. Senate and now running the department.
“I would encourage you to go back to them and ask them again. We’re not going to confirm them from the White House. It’s not our program,” Psaki claimed. “It’s the Department of Homeland Security.”
After this exchange, Press Secretary Psaki was pressed by the reporters about whether the Biden administration would admit that there was, in fact, a crisis happening on the southern border.
“Look, I don’t think we need to sit here and put new labels on what we have already conveyed is challenging, what we have conveyed is a top priority for the president, what our policy teams are working on every single day,” Psaki said. “They obviously, there was a trip to the border this weekend. They are working over the course of every day since then on putting in place policies that can help address what we’re seeing and help ensure that we are keeping these kids safe and moving them as quickly as possible from border patrol facilities to shelters where they can have access to educational resources, health resources, mental health resources, legal aid, et cetera.”
Press Secretary Psaki was pressed further when another reporter asked, ”
why has this administration been so reluctant to call it a crisis?”
“With the huge uptick in the number of migrants being detained, including thousands of children, if that doesn’t qualify as a crisis, what does?” the reporter continued.
“Well, because we think that it’s most important to explain the substantive policy of what’s happening, what the root causes are of why these kids are coming, and what we’re doing to try to solve what is a very challenging circumstance at the border,” She responded.