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Commentary

Flashback: Even CNN Mocked Psaki in 2014 for Getting 'Stumped' by a Question

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Seven years ago, CNN warned us of what we could expect when Jen Psaki was the White House press secretary.

At the time, Psaki was the spokeswoman for then-President Barack Obama’s State Department under Secretary of State John Kerry. However, Hillary Clinton had recently been the secretary of state — and a question about Clinton left Psaki “stumped,” according to CNN’s John King.

“Hillary Clinton was the Secretary of State before John Kerry,” King said during a 2014 report.

“Jen Psaki is now the spokeswoman there … But you think she might do her homework and expect a question about Hillary Clinton.”

The question came from a reporter at a news conference, according to The Daily Wire.

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“Can you, off the top of your head, identify one tangible achievement that resulted from the last [Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review]?” the reporter asked during the briefing.

Psaki couldn’t.

“I am certain that those who were here at the time, who worked hard on that effort, could point out one,” she said.



“That should not be a surprise question, should it?” King asked.

Is Jen Psaki gaffe-prone?

“No,” commentator Juana Summers said. “It shouldn’t have been a surprising question. And having an answer like that — that’s one for the reels for Republicans.”

Psaki is giving Republicans quite a few for the reels these days.

Here she is last week, calling Afghanistan a “war that has not been won militarily,” which is why President Joe Biden wasn’t going to celebrate:

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“I’m not going to rule out when — if [Biden] will or won’t speak on Afghanistan in the future. In terms of plans for the end — for our men and women coming back, I don’t have anything to preview, but we don’t — we’re not going to have a ‘mission accomplished’ moment in this regard,” Psaki said.

“It’s a 20-year war that has not been won militarily,” she added. “We are proud of the men and women who have served — incredibly grateful. The president will note that in his remarks today — how grateful he is for their service and the families who have sacrificed over the last 20 years.”

This was seen as a slight on the troops, particularly given the fact the military had done its part — it was the nation-building part where America ended up getting bogged down.

Here she is trying to dodge a question on abortion, rather unsuccessfully:

Here she is trying to turn “defund the police” back on Republicans:

The irony is that CNN ended up hiring Psaki as a contributor after her time in the Obama administration.

In 2019, after yet another debate gaffe, Psaki commented on the fact her future boss didn’t seem as mentally limber as he once was: “There have been a number of moments where even those of us who have affection for Vice President Biden think, ‘What on the Earth is happening right now?’”

They’re perfect for each other, it seems — and giving Republicans plenty for the reels.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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