News and Commentary

Psaki Draws Comparison Between Trump White House And ‘Game Of Thrones’

"There's not a lot of ‘Game of Thrones’ drama here."
TOPSHOT - An illustration shows a Game of Thrones-styled montage from US President Donald Trump's twitter page in Washington, DC on April 18, 2019. - US President Donald Trump, backed by his attorney general, declared himself fully vindicated in the investigation into Russian election meddling and alleged collusion with his campaign -- before the long-awaited full probe report was made public. "Game Over," Trump tweeted, using a "Game of Thrones" style montage that pictured him standing in dramatic fog.
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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday compared former President Trump’s White House to “Game of Thrones.”

“There’s not a lot of ‘Game of Thrones’ drama here, which feels like it may be a bit of … a shift from the last four years,” Psaki said of the Biden White House during a conference hosted by the Financial Times.

Psaki’s reference to the smash hit HBO show came as she responded to a question from Financial Times editor Roula Khalaf about the absence of leaks by the Biden administration as opposed to the Trump administration.

“The culture of this White House is very much a put your head down, get to work, do your thing, be a part of the team,” Psaki told Khalaf.

Psaki’s discussion at the conference served as a closing keynote event called “Restoring trust in a divided nation.”

It is not the first time Psaki has referenced the wildly popular fantasy television series in the context of the Trump administration. In fact, she has called upon the comparison several times since the 2020 election.

“We’re kind of still in recovery from the ‘Game of Thrones’ period of our history here,” Psaki said last month during an interview with her former Obama White House colleague David Axelrod on “The Axe Files” podcast.

In December before President Biden was sworn into office, Psaki referenced the show during an interview with NPR in which she promised that the Biden White House would be a departure from the style of the previous administration.

“Anybody who covered only the Trump administration who’s looking for a continuation of the ‘Game of Thrones’-style personnel sniping, they will be sorely disappointed, I believe,” Psaki said at the time.

“Our goal is for there to be a return to policy processes and policy briefings and policy experts who are going to be out there explaining what a Covid package may look like or what we’re going to do about immigration,” she added to NPR. “And certainly there are leaks around that which may give me a headache for the day, but are not as damaging, I would say, as leaks that are around people’s lives or national security issues.”

Nevertheless, Biden has been criticized ever since his presidential campaign for not exposing himself to the press enough. So far during his presidency, he has held only one formal press conference.

“Avoiding news conferences must not become a regular habit for Mr. Biden,” The Washington Post editorial board warned in March. “He is the president, and Americans have every right to expect that he will regularly submit himself to substantial questioning.”

Psaki argued Thursday that Biden has shown himself to be willing to take questions from reporters.

“He actually enjoys that back and forth and takes questions, I think, more than almost most presidents in modern history … in terms of the frequency of how often he takes questions from reporters,” she said.

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