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White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked by a Fox News reporter about the moment President Joe Biden had laughed at her “stupid” question during his press conference.
Fox News White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich asked Psaki about the “hot mic” moment from this week when the president did not answer her question about the growing Russia-Ukraine conflict, but chuckled and took an insulting dig at her.
“Why are you waiting on Putin to make the first move, sir?” Heinrich had asked as members of the press were being pushed out of the room following Biden’s press conference.
“What a stupid question,” the president was heard saying after a chuckle.
On Friday, Heinrich brought up the exchange during Psaki’s briefing.
(Relevant portion begins at 51:15 mark)
(Video: Washington Post)
“Is the president aware that he was caught on a hot mic yesterday, and why does he appear to be dismissing the idea of proactive deterrence?” she asked.
“Well, the president certainly does not dismiss that idea, considering he has taken a lot of steps, including supporting and approving the several sanctions that were put out by the Treasury Department just a couple of days ago,” Psaki responded.
Asked @PressSec if POTUS is aware he was caught on a mic yesterday & why he appears to dismiss the idea of proactive deterrence
Psaki: Well, the President certainly does not dismiss that idea, considering he has taken a lot of steps including sanctions from Treasury Department https://t.co/j5yGZAlelw
— Jacqui Heinrich (@JacquiHeinrich) January 21, 2022
The Fox News reporter followed up by asking Psaki about her comments the day before that “It’s important to remember who the aggressor is here. The aggressor is Russia and Putin. They are building up military troops. They are pushing out misinformation in Ukraine.”
“So why does it seem like U.S. officials are so concerned about being seen as escalating things if Russia has created this whole crisis?” Heinrich asked.
“Because I think we want the American public, and also the global community, to be clear-eyed about propaganda, and they are pushing propaganda about Ukrainians,” the press secretary replied.
“Certainly, there’s propaganda pushed here in the United States,” Psaki added. “But this is about a foreign potential foreign conflict. It’s about the buildup of troops by one power that is a much larger military power than the other on the border. And we want to be very clear with the public about the realities and the facts.”
At the same marathon press conference by the president, RealClearNews reporter Philip Wegmann had endured Biden’s tongue-lashing after he questioned him about his comments on Atlanta effectively comparing opponents to notorious segregationists.
Wegmann defended himself on social media after Biden’s insulting outburst.
Reporter Biden unfairly berated during marathon presser comes back to bite https://t.co/9o4NkKEGcj
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) January 21, 2022
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and former Obama White House official Brett Bruen responded to Biden’s “stupid” remark in separate comments.
“It isn’t a stupid question,” tweeted Bruen, the Obama-era White House director of global engagement. “It’s a really important one. We continue to allow Putin to set the terms, timeline, & trajectory of this crisis. It’s time we stop being so reactive & start creating some of our own conditions.”
“This is extremely sexist and uncalled for,” Blackburn tweeted, calling on Biden to apologize.
This is extremely sexist and uncalled for. @JacquiHeinrich is a well-prepared, smart reporter, and Biden should apologize immediately. https://t.co/qFGqyFxPp2
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) January 21, 2022
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