Peter Doocy Just Wrecks Jen Psaki and Sends Her on a Shameless Tangent

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

With the President of the United States nearly four and a half hours late for his Afghanistan presser as I type this, Jen Psaki held a briefing in the meantime. Nothing about it went well for the White House. While Psaki is certainly good at her job, which requires a lot of obfuscation and condescension, she was no match for Fox News’ Peter Doocy today.

He asked multiple questions, pressing the press secretary on our disastrous retreat in Afghanistan and on her claim that no Americans are stranded. In the end, she went on a nonsensical tangent instead of answering the questions posed.

Here’s what that looked like.

You can tell Psaki had her talking points ready, first going on a scripted response to Doocy’s pressure on her ridiculous comments about Americans not being stranded. She claimed that the White House is in contact with Americans who want to get out, though, she never made a firm commitment that they would all be extracted. Tap dancing is a good phrase to describe what Psaki was doing.

But it was the follow-up that really left the press secretary with nowhere to go.

Doocy hit Psaki with the fact that an American citizen called into Fox News this morning to say she was stranded and that the State Department was not returning their emails. Psaki had nowhere to go at that point, instead insisting that if Doocy gave her the woman’s number, she’d make sure they were contacted. Finally, Doocy hit Psaki again by asking if the Taliban had as much influence over American policy as the Commander in Chief, with that question being prompted by the fact that Biden followed the Taliban’s lead this morning in announcing no extension to the 8/31 deadline.

Psaki again had no real answer, claiming that the “original” deadline was 5/31 under the previous administration. But that’s irrelevant given Biden enacted his own plan and the fact that the Taliban were not in control of the country on 5/31. It is clear the current lack of an extension is solely driven by the Taliban calling the shots, and they are only calling the shots because the president sat idly by while they advanced, not beginning the evacuation until Kabul fell.

In summary, this was one of the most shameless displays Psaki has put on given the seriousness of the situation. At one point, she started smiling when announcing this was the largest airlift in history. But that’s not an accomplishment when we are only in this position because of the White House’s colossal failure. No one is buying these excuses. No one is buying the faux brags about how successful this operation supposedly is. It’s a disaster and everyone knows it.

Unfortunately, Doocy was the only journalist in the room today willing to ask tough questions.