If there was any doubt that White House press secretary Jen Psaki is not up to her job, her news briefing Wednesday proved it.
Earlier in the day, President Joe Biden gave a short speech about improving the country’s cybersecurity, but it was his quip at the end of his remarks that turned some heads.
I asked President Biden what he will do if Americans are still in Afghanistan after the 8/31 deadline.
His response: “You’ll be the first person I call.”
Took no questions. pic.twitter.com/MlyFIayrMZ
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) August 25, 2021
According to the official White House transcript, Biden responded: “You’ll be the first person I’ll call.”
Alexander responded with, “Please call them.”
While the audio appears to have been cut off, Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson shared video of the exchange on his Twitter.
SICK! When Biden’s asked what he’ll do if Americans are TRAPPED in Afghanistan after 8/31, he LAUGHS then his handlers cut off the audio. This is all one big joke to him. THIS IS NOT FUNNY! He needs to RESIGN immediately!
— Ronny Jackson (@RonnyJacksonTX) August 25, 2021
Psaki’s news briefing came about an hour after the president’s remarks.
According to Fox News, Fox correspondent Peter Doocy pressed Psaki about Biden’s strange stab at humor.
According to the White House transcript of the briefing, Doocy noted that the president had made a joke and then asked “what’s so funny?”
“Well, I think the question he was asked, if I remember correctly, was about when he will provide information about a decision on August 31st. I don’t want to paraphrase the question, if that was an inaccurate description of the question,” Psaki said.
That was not actually the question. Nor was it an accurate paraphrase of the question. The question was what Biden “will do,” not “when he will provide information.” He was asked to provide information — not when he would provide it.
Doocy said that the question was important to many people who were watching. Psaki acknowledged that it was “a very important question.” She then went on to not answer the question — or even answer her own paraphrase of the question.
“Obviously, there are discussions, and the president received a briefing just this morning. As I noted, he asked yesterday for contingency plans, and he received a briefing on them this morning. These are incredibly serious issues, and they’re discussions that are happening internally,” Psaki said.
She continued to fumble in giving a response.
“And I’d note that, in addition to the contingency plans that he requested, he also — I will reiterate, as we stated yesterday, that this is all contingent on us achieving our objectives and our continu- — and the continued coordination with the Taliban,” Psaki said.
Psaki said that the president has spoken to the issue over the last several days.
“And he has also highlighted the fact that we are closely watching, closely following the threats from ISIS-K, which he also received a briefing on this morning,” she said.
Breaking911 shared a video of the exchange on its Twitter account. See the convoluted non-answer for yourself.
PETER DOOCY: “[Biden] was asked about Afghanistan and he made a joke. What’s so funny?”
JEN PSKAI: “I think what he conveyed is that he has not — well, what I can convey from here, I should say…is that we’re on track to complete our mission by August 31st.” pic.twitter.com/GvykrHekZ8
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) August 25, 2021
So, in response to a serious question regarding the dire Afghanistan situation, Biden thought it was appropriate to crack a joke. Then, in an attempt to defend him, Psaki tried to bluff out an answer.
The reality was, she folded — and anyone listening closely would know it.
Instead of a coherent, defensible answer, she offered up a word salad of White House talking points — “contingency planning,” “achieving our objectives,” “continued coordination with the Taliban” (like that last one is supposed to be reassuring).
This leads one to believe that not only is Biden incompetent, but that Psaki is also clueless in her role. While some might say repeating old points and evading answers is her job, it should be noted that the American people truly want these questions answered.
Psaki’s direct boss might be Joe Biden, but she’s supposed to be serving her country’s public. The American people deserve better.
The reason Psaki stumbled over a response is because Biden’s reaction to the question is truly indefensible. Psaki certainly should not be let off the hook for attempting to defend her boss’s horrible, lighthearted demeanor when it comes to Afghanistan. She certainly offered no meaningful insight or defense to the president reacting as he did.
Yet, this entire situation shows the character of who Joe Biden really is.
As a presidential candidate, Biden’s blustery manner was described by his mainstream media fans as “authentic” and “relatable” — but this quality has also resulted in some of his most cringeworthy moments.
The president of the United States — like any adult of sound mind — should be able to determine what topics of discussion warrant a quip. This one most certainly does not.
This incident leads one to reminisce of President Ronald Reagan, who is known for, among other achievements, his great communication skills. He had a way of putting listeners at ease, he was often self-deprecating, and he had a relatable and humorous demeanor to him.
He was not afraid to make fun of himself or crack an anti-communist joke when the timing and audience was right for it.
However, he did not do so when an occasion demanded gravitas — such as the aftermath of the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion.
Maybe it is unfair to compare the “Great Communicator” with our current Blunderer-in-chief — but it makes a stark and necessary point.
The contrast highlights the difference between how a great president and a bad one react to disaster, and how they communicate that to the American people.
The ongoing events in Afghanistan are nothing short of a drawn-out tragedy.
The fact that our sitting president sees fit to make a snarky joke regarding the serious humanitarian crisis unraveling in Afghanistan is abhorrent, appalling, and unbecoming of the leader of the free world.
Biden’s ability to continue laughing at the matter simply shows how incompetent and uncaring he truly is.
Psaki’s performance Wednesday wasn’t much better.
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