Jen Psaki agrees ‘timing was suspect’ when asked if Russia cut power to media on White House lawn

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(Video Credit: Fox News)

Fox News correspondent Jacqui Heinrich said the quiet part out loud while speaking with White House press secretary Jen Psaki about cyberattacks against Ukraine during a press briefing, asking if it was plausible that the Russians cut the power to the media on the North Lawn.

President Joe Biden gave a short speech Tuesday afternoon regarding the Russian situation and Ukraine. He reiterated his warning to Russia against further incursion. He also stated that “if Russia attacks the United States or our Allies through asymmetric means, like disruptive cyberattacks against our companies or critical infrastructure, we are prepared to respond.” However, he has not expanded upon what that would entail.

“We’ve been told for a long time that some cyberattacks would likely precede an invasion. So, if it turns out that Russia is behind what happened today — or is — I guess, how I should phrase it is: Is there work being done quickly to figure out if Russia is behind what happened today so that sanctions can be imposed before there is bloodshed? Or is the calculus still sort of centering on force… on force or some, you know, passing over the border?” Heinrich asked.

“Sure. Well, we are constantly doing those assessments. And certainly, as any cyberattack happens, that is certainly a process that happens behind the scenes and that our intelligence community and our national security community undertakes, as it would be in this case as well,” Psaki replied.

“I would note, though, as it relates to sanctions: One, there’s a range of means that we could respond, both seen and unseen, to a — to a cyberattack or any other attack. And the president has the purview to do whatever he chooses in that regard,” she added. “But our view remains that the crippling package of sanctions is an effective deterrent. So if you do that all in advance, what is to stop them from moving forward?”

“Now, that may be a different policy issue — difference of opinion, I should say, on policy issues with some in Congress, and that’s okay. But that is our view from the administration,” Psaki asserted.

“And then, this may or may not be related at all, but is there any information on what caused the power outage on the North Lawn? Every TV network lost power at the same time during the president’s remarks?” Heinrich asked the press secretary.

“It was a very inconvenient time, I will just note, for all of you…” Psaki replied smiling.

“The timing was suspect, yes,” Heinrich pointed out.

“…and for us. I don’t have any assessment of that, no. Or — yes,” Psaki deflected with her non-answer saying much more than what she actually verbalized.


On Tuesday, a cyberattack hit the websites of Ukraine’s defense ministry and armed forces, and the websites of two Ukrainian banks as well, according to Ukrainian government agencies’ statements.

“It’s too early to attribute” responsibility, Victor Zhora, who is a deputy chairman at the State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection of Ukraine (SSSCIP) told CNN.


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