During Thursday’s press briefing at the White House, Press Secretary Jen Psaki schooled a reporter who claimed people are saying that, when it comes to policies, President Joe Biden is a lot like Donald Trump.
When pressed by Psaki, the reporter was unable to name, except for one, the people he claimed are making those erroneous assertions.
“In a number of issues,” the unnamed reporter began, “in the last, say, several weeks in which advocates – allies – of the president are describing him as ‘Trump-like,’ much less in terms of his personality and sort of tone and tenor obviously but, but in terms of policy, even today, [a] representative of the Cuban government describing the frustration with the, with the president, can continue to maintain Trump-era policies, vis-à-vis Cuba,” he said, stumbling and taking a long time to get to his question, as Psaki patiently waited while revealing the tiniest bit of a smirk. “Does the, what’s the President’s reaction? And does he accept that in some areas of policy, he is, you know, in agreement with the former president?”
“So,” Psaki replied, “just for the sake of argument here, not argument but discussion, beyond the representative of the Cuban government –” she replied, “But who are we talking about here, who’s saying that the President’s like Trump?”
“Oh, I mean they’re, they’re, they’re I mean they’re I could find you quotes, we, there have been quotes at our paper, quotes and lots of, lots of folks have, depending on the issue, whether they are immigration advocates or, you know folks in the Afghanistan, who sort of watch Afghanistan there, there have been numerous on the record descriptions of the President, embracing – and it’s actually in some ways just a factual statement.”
“On what policy, on what policy, sir? What specific policies?” she asked.
“Well, I mean, for example, Afghanistan would have been the maintaining of the former president’s decision to withdraw troops, on immigration, it’s in maintaining Title 42 and keeping Title 42 in place,” the reporter replied.
The reporter also mentioned “the French Foreign Minister compared him to Trump in terms of how he handled the AUKUS negotiations.”
“So, look,” Psaki, appearing to be amused, said: “I take each one of these – on Afghanistan, the former president struck a deal without the Afghan government that we heard the military convey yesterday led to the demoralization of the Afghan security forces and the Afghan government, where he also released 5000 Taliban fighters into Afghanistan.”
After pushing back on his claims on other issues while defending Biden’s actions, Psaki got to the public health law invoked during the pandemic.
“Title 42 is a public health, is a public health requirement, a public, because we’re in the middle of a pandemic, which,” Psaki replied, “by the way, we would have made progress on had the former president actually addressed the pandemic and not suggest that people inject bleach, so I think we’re in a bit of a different place.”
Watch the last portion of that exchange:
Psaki: …because we’re in the middle of a pandemic which by the way, we would’ve made progress on had the former President addressed the pandemic and not suggest people inject bleach pic.twitter.com/xMWIGg7KDD
— Acyn (@Acyn) September 30, 2021