It only took hours for the inept communications team at the White House to yet again demonstrate that those within the executive offices aren’t on the same page after they released a video dismantling claims by White House press secretary Jen Psaki that Vice President Kamala Harris wore a mask inside Friday.
Harris had been participating in the ceremonies surrounding the confirmation of now Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court on Thursday and Friday despite being in “close contact” with her communications director Jamal Simmons who had tested positive for COVID. Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked her to clarify, “So this is not a case of rules for thee, but not for VP?”
Psaki flat-out denied even a remote possibility that Harris had been maskless inside and insisted there was only a momentary slip in CDC guidance when the vice president hugged Jackson. “In fact, the vice president wore a mask inside today when she was both with the president, with her staff, other people.”
Yesterday, we witnessed a truly historic moment. pic.twitter.com/bHVifYyXyw
— President Biden (@POTUS) April 9, 2022
The official Twitter account for President Joe Biden painted quite a different picture Saturday in the video captioned, “Yesterday, we witnessed a truly historic moment.”
The video montage, played to snippets of speeches made by Biden, Harris and Jackson, highlights moments from Friday’s ceremony on the South Lawn and, at the 23 second mark, depicts a rather intimate gathering around the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.
Harris, First Lady Jill Biden, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff and Jackson, accompanied by her family, surround the president as he signs documents marking the occasion. All pictured, in particular Harris who is hovering over the shoulder of the president, are maskless.
“We know, Peter, that outside it is – you are – You can benefit significantly being outside, that’s why we have – We had the event outside today!” Psaki had said Friday when being questioned on the visible hypocrisy on display. “I will tell you that the vice president has been wearing a mask inside. When there was a private greet they were all wearing masks.”
Doocy had clearly laid out, “The CDC says for people exposed to COVID, up-to-date on their COVID 19 vaccinations, ‘do not go to places where you are unable to wear a well-fitting mask. So why,” he followed up, “is she here at the White House today, giving the new Supreme Court Justice a big hug with no mask?”
Psaki’s original defense of “she was outside” won’t stand under this scrutiny and she will most likely repeat the argument that she had made earlier in the week after Biden had kissed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the cheek to only later learn she was positive for COVID.
Because their meeting was less than 15 minutes within six feet of one another, Psaki defended the president going maskless throughout the week because the two Democrats hadn’t been in “close contact.”
“It’s not something made up by the White House,” Psaki said. “It’s CDC guidelines.”
That likely defense will skirt by the reality that Psaki, in her official capacity as a representative of the government, told a complete lie to the American people in her attempt to belittle a journalist while trying to protect the failing credibility of the administration.
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