Softballs And Adoration: Read The ‘Questions’ Reporters Have Asked Biden’s Press Secretary
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 22: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki participates in a White House press briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House January 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. Psaki discussed various topics including the economic crisis that was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Since January 20, Jen Psaki has assumed the role of White House press secretary, a job with a stated description of providing journalists the opportunity to understand the positions and actions of the executive branch.

In just over two weeks, Psaki’s experience — alongside others from the Biden administration — has differed from that of her immediate predecessors in fairly obvious ways, with many journalists offering soft, leading, or even openly partisan “questions” on a daily basis.

Here is a selection of these questions, which demonstrate what we can expect from the “objective media” under the Biden administration.

January 20

Thanks, Jen. First off, congratulations. And one question about your role. You touched on this a little bit at the top, but when you are up there, do you see yourself — your primary role as promoting the interests of the President, or are you there to provide us the unvarnished truth so that we can share that with the American people.”

“Let me ask you on policy, if I can quickly. You talk — obviously, your role is sort of in terms of delivering the best information to the American people on behalf of this White House. The battle for truth may be as tough a fight right now as is the battle against coronavirus. How do you and President Biden plan to combat disinformation that, in many ways, led to that assault we witnessed two weeks ago today on the Capitol?”

“Thank you so much, Jen. Thank you for doing this on a daily basis again.”

“And then, could you just give us some color about what it was like for him going into the Oval Office? He’s been waiting for this for so long. What was his reaction?”

“On a lighter note, will he keep Donald Trump’s Air Force One color scheme change?”

“Jen, just one quick one before we let you go. Just following up on Peter’s question: Does President — President Biden believe that President Trump needs to be held accountable for the Capitol insurrection a couple of weeks ago? And does that accountability require that President Trump be barred from holding future federal office?”

“The President did not mention the word “Trump” in his Inaugural Address today…What was the intention behind not making any direct reference to his predecessor in that speech?”

“How does President Biden plan to recover the United States’ image around the world? And what is his priority globally?”

January 21

“Dr. Fauci, you’ve joked a couple times today already about the difference that you feel in being kind of the spokesperson for this issue in this administration versus the previous one. Can you — can you talk a little bit about how free, how much different — do you feel less constrained?”

“I mean, you were basically banished for a few months there for a while. (Laughter.) Do you feel like you’re back now?”

“And just changing gears for a quick second to COVID and the negotiations on Capitol Hill: How long is the President willing to pursue bipartisanship? Democrats are already talking about a reconciliation process. Is there a — given the critical need for some sort of aid here that the President is talking about, is there a deadline at which he’s going to — he’s giving Republicans — you know, is it February 1st, is it Presidents weekend — by which he’ll say, “No, we’re going to do this by reconciliation instead”?”

“The second one — this — this may sound trivial, but Presidents and candidates have some events where — they’re fun for the candidate. They — the big crowd on the acceptance speech at the convention, the big crowd at the Inauguration, big rallies. Because of COVID, this President has — has been denied all those. Has he ever been at all wistful about sort of missing the fun parts of being a candidate and the Inauguration?”

January 22

“Are the tools and methods available to federal law enforcement, are they what we need right now? Are we still stuck in sort of a post-9/11 mindset? And does there need to be really broad, radical rethinking about how we, sort of, approach things in the federal law enforcement?”

“If I could follow up with you on what you said about COVID yesterday, you said your goal is a million shots per day, which would double, you said, what the Trump administration was doing. According to the CDC, we have reached a million shots a day last week. So, given that — given the urgent need for vaccinations, why not aim higher?”

“Not to belabor this point, but you’ve said that Congress can walk and chew gum at the same time, which is true, but there are also so many hours in the day. Has the President expressed any concern that a Senate trial will slow down additional confirmations or movement on a COVID relief bill?”

“Welcome back.”

“Can I ask what happened to the Churchill bust and what should be read about its removal from the Oval Office?”

“And this is his first weekend in the White House. Does he still plan to go to mass every weekend? And has he picked a parish here in the Washington area or a place where he plans to go?”

January 25

“Thanks, Jen. Acknowledging the confusion around the lack of clarity about the vaccine availability, give us a sense of just how stunning that revelation is. I mean, what was President Biden’s reaction to learning that?”

“The Trump administration, in its final weeks, rushed through a number of federal executions. Has the President directed a moratorium on capital punishment? And does he plan to?”

January 26

Ambassador Rice, thank you. You speak about communities of color, right now, that are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Of course, they’re also less inclined to have faith in the federal government response to the vaccination process. So what specifically — and I’ll follow up with others — but what specifically is being done right now for communities of color to convince them it’s okay to get this vaccine?”

“ Thank you, Ambassador Rice. Two questions. The first: What will the administration do to address the relationship between communities of color and police, particularly as part of the mass incarceration component?

And then the second question: Republican legislators have signaled that they’re going to look to roll back some of the voting procedures from the last election. We know that that’s centered in some of those swing states in largely black and brown communities. What’s the administration going to do about that as well?”

“Thank you, Jen. Thank you, Ambassador. These measures here are executive actions, which of course could be overturned and reversed by a future President. Can you talk about what steps could be taken to codify these, to make them permanent, whether it’s private prisons or other measures, so they could not be undone by a future President?”

“I just wanted to circle back to Peter’s question. So Dr. Fauci, on Fox today, went back to quoting that “100 million doses in 100 days” number. So did the President misspeak when he said the new goal was 150 million shots in a hundred days, yesterday? Or was he operating under some new update that he got?”

“We’ve seen that, after January 6th, there is obviously this issue of white supremacy and racism coursing through our country. What’s the biggest challenge when you think of equity in this country? And how do you measure success for something like that, especially when we think of all of the different ways that our country is dealing with it?”

“Ambassador Rice outlined all of these disparities when it comes to Americans of color being infected and dying from COVID at higher rates. Do you — does the White House fault the policies of the previous administration for creating those disparities that we’re seeing?”

January 27

“Thanks, Jen. Does the White House have a comment on this social media profile that has emerged of Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene? And is there a response to whether any disciplinary action should be taken against her, given everything that’s come out?”

“Thank you, Jen. Good to see you on a different podium.”

January 29

“Speaker Pelosi said, I believe it was yesterday, that she feels that threats are coming from inside the House with other members being allowed to carry guns. Of course, you have conspiracy theorists among the ranks of the GOP now. Do you, and does the White House, agree with that assessment that there is security threats coming from inside the House? Has Biden spoken to Pelosi? And is he worried about the safety — the physical safety of both members of Congress.”

“And then the — as you know, settlements have been a major obstacle to getting the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. Would President Biden consider it — does he believes settlements are — should be halted in the West Bank so that the Palestinians will come back?”

“As you guys are thinking about the task force to reunite the parents and the separated children, what are you sort of learning about the scope of that challenge? It’s something that groups have tried to do in the past and failed. How many people do you think would need to be tasked to that to actually make it effective?”

“Thank you, Jen. I know that President Biden and the First Lady are acutely aware of the sacrifices that military families make.”

“And just one on double masking. There’s been some increased discussion about that publicly. We’ve seen pictures of the President double masking and those around him. Is that a personal preference or has he been advised by medical — his medical advisors to do that?”

“And then one on Marjorie Taylor Greene. I know you said earlier that you would not like to be commenting on her, but it’s been a major story. Does the White House have any concerns about a QAnon supporter, someone with a history of racist — now we’re seeing anti-Semitic — comments, harassing school-shooting survivor families, serving on House committees?”

“Yesterday we saw Vice President Harris do local media interviews in the states of West Virginia and Arizona. You know, obviously there’s been a lot of focus on your efforts to get Republicans on board.”

“One more on your favorite topic: reconciliation. I know it’s wonky, but … The President, as you said multiple times, is reaching out to Republicans in an effort to get a bipartisan bill. At the same time, Majority Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi seem to be aggressively moving towards reconciliation. Do you think — does the President think that the Democratic leader’s push for reconciliation at this time is hurting his chances to get Republicans on board?”

February 1

“And in that statement, you called out $1,400 relief checks a substantial investment in fighting COVID and reopening schools, aid to small businesses and hurting families. A lot of that isn’t in the Republican proposal. So why have this meeting at all if they’re not even going to take seriously what he is proposing?”

“So I’ll circle back to this: Has the White House made a determination about whether it will continue to extend the privilege of intelligence briefings to former President Trump, given the concerns among some Democrats that he’ll either misuse it or leverage it to enrich himself?”

February 2

“Can I ask a question on impeachment? The impeachment managers have now laid out their case. Trump’s team is leaving open the door, it seems, to arguing election fraud in the trial, to repeating the false claims that somehow Trump won the election — those same false claims that fueled the riot. Is this administration concerned that the former President’s defense could incite further violence?”

Febuary 3

“Where is the space for bipartisan agreement when the differences are that significant across major components of what the President wants?”

“And finally, one more question. There’s discussion on the Hill about stripping Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments. Does President Biden believe that she should be stripped of those assignments?”

“Thanks. One of the law enforcement gaps that was identified after the riot on January 6th was that President Trump had insisted on this focus on Antifa. And I’m wondering what President Biden has done to redirect an emphasis on right-wing extremism.”

“Jen, can I follow up with a previous question and just circle back to President Biden’s comments yesterday in the Oval Office … when he said the “vast, vast majority” of U.S. law enforcement officers were “decent, honorable people”? Why did he want to — why did he think it was important to stress that the “vast majority” are?”

“Are you okay with [Russia Today and Sputnik] working in the White House, for example?”

February 4

“Thanks, Jake. Question on immigration. When the President signed his executive order directing DOJ not to contract with private federal prisons, he did not extend that to DHS and ICE, which houses many undocumented immigrants. So is that something that he plans to do? And if so, why didn’t he do it in that executive order?”

“Thank you so much. Just picking up on Peter’s question on speaking from a position of strength, I want to talk about sanctions on Myanmar. Does the fact that we have Republican lawmakers who support the claim that the election was stolen, some potentially having ties to extremist groups who stormed the Capitol — does it make the job of the administration’s foreign policy team more difficult to punish countries like Myanmar on the grounds of violations of democracy and of rule of law?”

“Jen, one of the biggest criticisms of President Trump’s approach to handling the coronavirus was that the administration didn’t provide clear guidance to states about when they should shut down, when they should reopen.”

“Clearly, on LGBTQ issues, the President is ready to make good on his promises over the course of the campaign, with the two executive orders he signed in the first days of office relating to nondiscrimination and the transgender military ban.”

“Jen, we saw some new figures today: More than 2 million guns were sold in January. That was an 80 percent jump and the second highest monthly total on record. A lot of this, of course, had to do amid all the coverage related to the Capitol riots then. The President promised to act on day one on this issue.”

Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Softballs And Adoration: Read The ‘Questions’ Reporters Have Asked Biden’s Press Secretary