Hard-hitting journalism? Tapper ‘corrects’ Psaki over ‘Queen of England’ gaffe

CNN’s “The Lead” host Jake Tapper mildly took White House press secretary Jen Psaki to task during a Friday evening interview over her mischaracterization of Queen Elizabeth during a virtual question-and-answer session via Twitter earlier this week.

Psaki read a question from someone who inquired about President Joe Biden making his first foreign trip before explaining that the White House entourage would travel to the United Kingdom to attend the G7 Summit.

The administration spokeswoman said that Biden would be meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson as well as the “Queen of England” before moving on to NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, to discuss the alliance’s most pressing threats including “climate change” and “cyber threats.”

Psaki also said that Biden would hold a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a meeting that, were his name Donald Trump, once triggered many in the so-called “mainstream” media.

That includes CNN’s Tapper, who once accused Trump of acting like a “spokesman” for Putin. Only this time, he turned his attention to a subject he obviously felt was at least equally pressing: Psaki’s use of the term “Queen of England.”

“Royals watchers were quick to catch you calling queen will you say the Queen of England,” Tapper began as he prepared to close out his interview with Psaki.

“This is not a mistake I would have caught, to be completely candid, but as I’m sure you are now well aware, there hasn’t actually been a queen of England since 1707. Her majesty is the queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth,” he said.

“Absolutely,” Psaki responded amid some crosstalk before Tapper allowed her to finish.

“She certainly is. I appreciate the opportunity to correct myself,” said Psaki. “I will note that it was in an engagement of answering questions on Twitter. Not that that excuses it, but you’re absolutely right and I will forever never make that mistake again about her majesty, the queen of the United Kingdom.”

“And Commonwealth,” Tapper corrected.

“And Commonwealth, thank you,” the White House spokeswoman responded, smiling.

“All right. White House press secretary Jen Psaki, thanks so much,” Tapper said.

Earlier, Tapper did address Biden’s meeting with Putin, pushing Psaki slightly on why it was necessary to “reward” the Russian leader with a face-to-face summit given the latter’s actions in recent years including invading Crimea, allegedly poisoning dissidents abroad, and tolerating ransomware attacks on U.S. companies from his soil.

Psaki explained that the Biden White House doesn’t view the meeting as a “reward” and said Biden would bring up those and other issues during his facetime with Putin, which she said was often more productive and advantageous than discussing issues over the phone.

To that point, Putin, in an interview with NBC News this week, described former President Donald Trump as an “extraordinary individual” and said he believes the U.S.-Russia relationship has hit its “lowest point” under Biden.

“I believe that former U.S. President Trump is an extraordinary individual, talented individual. Otherwise, he would not have become U.S. president. He’s a colorful individual,” Putin said.

Jon Dougherty

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