Bonchie reported earlier on how White House press secretary Jen Psaki insulted our intelligence yet again during the daily press briefing when she was questioned on specifics about the border crisis.
When she was asked if the White House considered what was happening at the border a “crisis,” Psaki predictably did a semantics tap dance (as she often does) and stated that we didn’t “need to sit here and put new labels on what we have already conveyed is challenging.”
Another answer that defied all logic was when she was asked for more details on the number of migrants being held at the border.
One of Psaki’s go-to answers on border questions is to default to telling the journalist making the inquiry to press the Department of Homeland Security on the matter. Like clockwork, that’s exactly what happened when a reporter inquired about the numbers.
For those who missed it, here’s the incredible back and forth that happened in the briefing room when Psaki was asked if it was true that the number being held “had tripled.” She literally told the reporter that DHS was not the White House’s “program” and advised them to keep checking with DHS:
REPORTER: "The number of migrants detained has tripled… Is that accurate?"
PSAKI: "Those numbers are tracked by DHS. I'm just suggesting that you talk to them…"
REPORTER: "We talked to them… They won't confirm the numbers."
PSAKI: "Ask them again… It's not our program" pic.twitter.com/4MQy2X9RgX
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) March 9, 2021
It was a bizarre answer to give considering DHS is, ya know, a federal department with officials who are supposed to be reporting to Biden as to what’s happening at this country’s southern border. So, yes, Biden should be able to provide these answers and Psaki should be able to relay them to reporters who ask about them. It’s probably in the top 5 on the border questions members of the White House press corps ask her on any given day.
The lack of preparedness on her part is part of a bigger problem we’ve seen from this White House over the last six weeks in terms of transparency. As the media spotlight on this issue gets brighter, the White House seems more and more hellbent on keeping people in the dark. This is all made worse by the fact that Biden’s handlers are steering reporters away from him as often as possible without allowing him to answer any questions about the situation down south, as happened during a public appearance Biden made this morning in DC.
Even more problematic on the White House’s unwillingness to provide specifics was this report from Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy, who said on the network tonight that Biden sent a delegation of lawmakers to the border over the weekend, but days later has not been briefed on it:
Fox News’ Peter Doocy on border crisis: “President Biden sent a delegation down there this past weekend. Their job was to gather info and bring it back and brief him. They’ve been back for several days but we’re told that briefing has still not happened yet” pic.twitter.com/aFFEME3qXk
— TV News HQ (@TVNewsHQ) March 9, 2021
I mean it’s great Biden sent a group of lawmakers to dig deeper into what is going on, but where’s the sense of urgency in getting that information from the people who went and passing it along to the press and the public?
This is crazy. Next to the pandemic and the economy, the border crisis ranks right up there as a major issue the American people are paying attention to and deserve answers on. The fact that Biden has not yet met with the delegation he sent to the border to gather information raises more troubling questions as to just what’s going on and who might really be running things at the White House. It also makes Psaki’s attempts at redirecting reporters to the DHS look even more foolish.
Here’s the bottom line: Biden is the president. DHS reports to him. He sent a delegation on a fact-finding mission to the border several days ago. He should have these answers, and reporters should not be rerouted to DHS in order to get them.
I dunno, maybe frustrated reporters should throw caution to the wind and try directing questions about border security (and other issues) to Vice President Kamala Harris instead of Biden? At this point – or at least until Biden finally holds that first formal solo press conference, it might be worth a try.*
*I’m only being half sarcastic here, y’all.