White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki faced backlash on Tuesday after she appeared to mock a branch of the United States Military during a press conference, which sparked calls that she needed to apologize for her “disgraceful” comment.
Psaki was asked about what Democrat President Joe Biden’s plans were regarding the Space Force, including whether he wanted to keep the new military branch.
“Wow. Space Force. It’s the plane of today,” Psaki responded. “It is an interesting question. I am happy to check with our Space Force point of contact. I’m not sure who that is. I will find out and see if we have any update on that.”
Psaki’s comments are an apparent reference to previous questions from reporters about whether the Biden administration would change the colors on Air Force One.
"Wow, Space Force– it's the plane of today." — Jen Psaki
How condescending can Jen Psaki get? pic.twitter.com/hiadBB7ydz
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) February 2, 2021
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), the House Armed Services Committee’s top Republican, demanded that Psaki apologized for the remark.
“It’s concerning to see the Biden administration’s press secretary blatantly diminish an entire branch of our military as the punchline of a joke, which I’m sure China would find funny,” Rogers said. “The Space Force was passed with near unanimous support in Congress, the same type of ‘unity’ President Biden is supposedly working towards. Jen Psaki needs to immediately apologize to the men and women of the Space Force for this disgraceful comment.”
Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) also slammed the Biden administration over the remarks, saying that it was a sign that they were not taking the national security threat posed by China seriously.
Waltz said, “This is just another example of the Biden administration not taking China seriously while demeaning the incredible work of Space Force personnel.”
Psaki’s apparent lack of knowledge about what the administration’s plans were on the Space Force comes after a report was published yesterday that alleged that Biden’s communications team has been reaching out to reporters prior to press conferences to learn about what they are going to ask in advance. Psaki has quickly become known for ducking out of having to answer questions by saying that she is “going to need to circle back” with whoever is asking the question.
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 26, 2021
Psaki later issued a short statement in apparent reference to her mocking a branch of the U.S. military. She did not apologize for her remarks in the statement.
Psaki wrote, “We look forward to the continuing work of Space Force and invite the members of the team to come visit us in the briefing room anytime to share an update on their important work.”
We look forward to the continuing work of Space Force and invite the members of the team to come visit us in the briefing room anytime to share an update on their important work.
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) February 3, 2021