Joe Biden’s White House spokesman Jen Psaki likened Fox News and other right-wing reporters to “Russian and Chinese media questions asked by their government … propaganda promoters” to be treated with extreme attention.
Psaki spoke to reliable CNN sources in an interview broadcast Sunday. Her media relations are smoother – and her briefings are more frequent ̵
Last week, such an interaction involved questions about Anthony Fauci, Biden’s chief medical adviser. Republicans and right-wing reporters took advantage of the publication of emails sent by Fauci at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Asked by Dusi whether Fauci should be held “responsible” for “saying one thing in an email and then coming to that microphone and saying something else,” Psaki called Fauci a “famous government official” who is ” led the management of many global health crises. “
“Attacks on him are certainly something we can’t stand,” she said, adding: “I will let Dr. Fauci speak in his defense of his emails from 17 months ago, before this president even takes office. “
Doussi asked about US funding for Chinese research labs, a key part of the Republican attacks on Fauci, as the theory that Covid-19 avoided such a lab renews attention.
Psaki dismissed the question.
Dussey asked, “Can you imagine a circumstance in which the president would ever fire him?”
“No,” Psaki said, turning to another reporter, who said, “Go on.”
Psaki told CNN: “The things that get under my skin are when the premise of a question is based on inaccurate information, misleading information. This can be frustrating. I try not to show it too much, I try not to let people see me sweating too much. But sometimes I have a moment of humanity. “
Host Brian Steller pointed out that most questions “based on lies” come from brands like Newsmax, which are sometimes asked at the briefing. I know that many liberals do not want Fox News to be called. I think they should be, but … why are you calling Fox News and Newsmax? “
Psaki said: “My point of view, and more importantly, the president’s point of view, is that the story is not for me or a debate with news agencies. The story is about the administration’s plans and what we are trying to project on the American people.
“And when he commits himself to running all Americans, that means talking to a number of businesses – liberal, conservative, people who have different areas of interest. So that’s exactly what I try to do every day. “
Steller asked why some viewers celebrate when the press secretary is seen “closing” a questioner like Dusi.
“I also have a responsibility to prevent the training room from becoming a propaganda forum or a forum for spreading lies or inaccurate information,” Psaki said.
“My best preparation for this was actually to speak to the State Department when there were representatives of the Russian and Chinese media in the briefing room asking me questions directed by their government.
“So we see that from time to time in the briefing, not every day at all, but I have a responsibility to the public to make sure they get accurate information, and the preconditions for issues that push propaganda are not by giving them inaccurate information. “
Psaki also defended the administration against criticism of holding only one presidential press conference – “This can be driven more by the media than by the American public” – and suggested that some reporters “muscle is a little atrophied” when it comes to understanding the realities of governance.
Fox News happily rounded up the conservative criticism of the interview. Sentences include “subordinate, coercive” and “outburst.”
In his e-mail to reliable sources, Steller said his goal was “to speak broadly … and become personal, in addition to the topical questions asked at briefings.”