Former White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany criticized current White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki for giving a “snarky” response to a federal judge’s ruling to vacate the Biden administration’s transportation mask mandate.
Psaki on Monday refused to confirm that the mask mandate was no longer in place, though a judge vacated the requirement as “unlawful.”
“Just to quickly follow up on the mask mandate being voided by this judge, what is the White House’s assessment of what that means for travelers today?” a reporter asked Psaki.
“Well, it just happened this afternoon,” the press secretary dodged. “And so, the Department of Homeland Security is over — obviously oversees the implementation of this, and they’re reviewing it as we speak.”
“So it’s still in place right now?” the reporter pressed.
“They are doing it as we speak. It just came out this afternoon,” Psaki said. “And if there [are] any updates while I’m out here, I’m sure we can provide them to all of you.”
McEnany, who served as White House press secretary under former President Donald Trump, blasted Psaki for withholding about the reality of the ruling, instead giving a “snarky” response.
“You’re the press secretary and you know how government works,” McEnany said on Fox News’s “Outnumbered.” “That’s a snarky answer. The answer is we respect the opinion of the federal judiciary, but that’s not what she said.”
McEnany added that she hopes “Jen Psaki fights very hard against this ruling. I hope President Biden does, and I hope they show the true autocrats they are.”
During the same press briefing, Psaki became frustrated with Fox News reporter Peter Doocy for questioning the effectiveness of the transportation mask mandate in the first place, noting that most people in the press briefing room, including Psaki, were not currently wearing masks.
“You said about this mask ruling out of a federal court in Florida that it’s a ‘disappointing decision,’ and you say you continue to recommend that people wear masks. Why is it that we can sit here in the White House briefing room with no masks, but people can’t sit in an airplane cabin with no masks?” Doocy pressed.
“Well, Peter, I’m not a doctor,” Psaki snapped. “You’re not a doctor — that I’m aware of. If you’re a doctor, I wasn’t aware of that today — until today.”
“Can confirm,” Doocy replied.
“Okay, not a doctor. Just making sure,” the press secretary said. “I don’t know.”
The Biden administration released a statement Monday saying officials will be considering “potential next steps” about the voided transportation mask mandate.
“The agencies are reviewing the decision and assessing potential next steps,” an administration official said, The Daily Wire reported. “In the meantime, today’s court decision means CDC’s public transportation masking order is not in effect at this time. Therefore, TSA will not enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs at this time. CDC recommends that people continue to wear masks in indoor public transportation settings.”