Psaki REFUSES to Tell Doocy Whether Biden Thinks Far-Left DA’s Are Causing Mass Crime

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On Monday’s abbreviated edition of The Psaki Show, Fox’s Peter Doocy came prepared (as always) with tough questions many of his colleagues refuse to ask, focusing this day on issues pertaining to the cost of the Biden administration’s Build Back Better (BBB) boondoggle, whether Vice President Harris is still in charge of combatting illegal immigration, and the role of liberal prosecutors contributing to rising crime.

Doocy led with BBB and whether President Biden would support the bill’s host of new social programs being “made permanent” despite the fact that, as per a new score from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in which “they assume that social programs are going to be made permanent and, in that case, it would add almost $3 trillion.”

 

 

Psaki roundly dismissed it, repeatedly calling it “a fake CBO score” since it’s “not based on the actual bill” led by an ask of the CBO by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) (whom Psaki first referred to as a woman in a Freudian slip).

Doocy moved to immigration and striking comments made by the president of Guatemala last week to his colleague John Roberts (click “expand”)

DOOCY: Is Vice President Harris still in charge of addressing the root causes from migration from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala?

PSAKI: She is and I just announced a commitment that she’s announcing this afternoon.

DOOCY: So then why hasn’t she spoken to the president of Guatemala since June? That’s six months.

PSAKI: Well, I know that — I did this kind of strange report from the president of Guatemala, saying that he’s had no contact with the White House, which is inaccurate.

DOOCY: No. He didn’t say the White House. He said Vice President Harris. He has not spoken to her and if she’s in charge, why — why is that?

PSAKI: Well, we have had a range of conversations, Peter. I think that’s reflected in the readout last week with our national security advisor, with the Vice President’s national security advisor, with our NSC senior director Juan Gonzales. We put out an extensive readout of that just last week and we’ll continue that high level of engagement.

Closing with the terrifying issue of rising crime and smash-and-grab robberies, Doocy posed to Psaki a basic question: “Do you think it’s possible that big cities are dealing with these smash and grab robberies right now, an increase in criminal activity because some prosecutors are too soft on crime?”

Psaki said she wouldn’t “attribute the reasoning from here,” but she did the opposite as, before talking about the White House’s focus on “ensuring local police departments and cops have the funding they need,” she blamed the coronavirus as “we have seen an increase of crime over the course of the pandemic.”

Doocy followed up by blowing holes in this argument: “[W]hat good does it do if you’re going to give police departments extra money if they arrest bad guys and they bring them to jail and then they’re not prosecuted. They’re just right back out on the streets.”

After she doubled down on her previous answer, Doocy questioned whether Biden believes it’s “good governing” for those running New York City to have cases like “pickpocket[er] with more than 30 arrests” and the suspect in the burning of the $500,000 Fox Christmas tree both being allowed “back out on the streets.”

Psaki wanted nothing to do with this, stating she already had “spoke to the President’s concerns about retail theft.”

At the other end of the questioning spectrum, The Washington Post’s Sean Sullivan gave Psaki two opportunities from the left to rule that the tornadoes that ravaged Kentucky and other Midwestern states last week were caused by man-made climate change (click “expand”):

The President has had to address a series of natural disasters, other severe weather occurrences this year from wildfire to hurricanes and now these tornadoes and each time, we’ve heard time talk about how, I think he said this on Saturday, that these are not partisan moments, we’re not, you know, Republicans and Democrats, but we’ve also heard — also him on many occasions talk about the demonstrative effect of climate change…[W]hat, if anything, can we expect to hear from the president when he goes to Kentucky on Wednesday about — specifically about climate change and can you talk about how he balances those two imperatives of trying to strike this unifying note, but talking about an issue that, you know, frankly, is a partisan — that has caused a partisan divide?

(….)

[T]he President, I think, said on Saturday that he would seek some input from the EPA about whether these specific tornadoes were caused by climate change, how much of a direct tie there was there. Has he got feedback from them and, if so, what have they informed him about the event?

To see the relevant transcript from December 13’s briefing, click “expand.”

White House press briefing (via CBSN)
December 13, 2021
1:09:25 p.m. Eastern

PETER DOOCY: You’re not going to believe this. I have another question about Build Back Better.

JEN PSAKI: I am ready.

DOOCY: So, the President says Build Back Better is not going to add a penny to the deficit. The CBO has this new score where they assume that social programs are going to be made permanent and, in that case, it would add almost $3 trillion. So, does that mean that President Biden will commit that these programs are not going to be made permanent?

PSAKI: Well, first of all, what we’re talking about is a fake CBO score that is not based on the actual bill that anyone is voting on. This was an ask — request by Senator Graham to score a bill that is not currently being debated. That is her — his prerogative to do, but what our focus is on is on the existing bill that will lower the deficit, that will also, over an additional 10 years, pay for the $2 trillion tax cuts that Republicans didn’t pay for. They’re welcome for that, so I would say, Peter, to your question, the President has conveyed very clear — multiple times publicly, that he would like programs, if they’re extended, to be paid for. That remains his commitment, but it’s important to understand when you — when anybody raises a question about this new CBO score, it is a fake score about a bill that doesn’t exist and we should really focus on the actual bill everybody’s going to vote on and consider in Congress right now.

DOOCY: Okay. Another topic: Is Vice President Harris still in charge of addressing the root causes from migration from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala?

PSAKI: She is and I just announced a commitment that she’s announcing this afternoon.

DOOCY: So then why hasn’t she spoken to the President of Guatemala since June? That’s six months.

PSAKI: Well, I know that — I did this kind of strange report from the President of Guatemala, saying that he’s had no contact with the White House, which is inaccurate.

DOOCY: No. He didn’t say the White House. He said Vice President Harris. He has not spoken to her and if she’s in charge, why — why is that?

PSAKI: Well, we have had a range of conversations, Peter. I think that’s reflected in the readout last week with our national security advisor, with the Vice President’s national security advisor, with our NSC senior director Juan Gonzales. We put out an extensive readout of that just last week and we’ll continue that high level of engagement.

DOOCY: Okay. Final topic: Do you think it’s possible that big cities are dealing with these smash and grab robberies right now, an increase in criminal activity because some prosecutors are too soft on crime?

PSAKI: I would say we have seen — I am not going to attribute the reasoning from here. What I will tell you is we have seen an increase of crime over the course of the pandemic. There are a range of reasons for that and what we’re — our focus is on is what we can do to address it. The President proposed additional funding to insure local police departments and cops have the funding they need. We have also worked directly with police departments in areas where they are seeing the highest impact of the crime, the retail theft, which we have great concern about. That is what our focus is on, currently, is action and doing what we can to make sure the funding is out there to the communities that need it the most.

DOOCY: But I guess what good does it do if you’re going to give police departments extra money if they arrest bad guys and they bring them to jail and then they’re not prosecuted. They’re just right back out on the streets.

PSAKI: I think, Peter, what our focus is on is making sure that the local leaders, the police officers and departments who know what they need for these communities have the assistance and the funding they need and that’s what we’re working around the clock on.

DOOCY: So, so the final one would be, just in the last week, we saw a New York Post item about a pickpocket with more than 30 arrests back out on the street. We’ve seen an arsonist burn down a half million dollar Christmas tree in New York City, back out on the streets. Does the President think that that’s good governing?

PSAKI: Again, I think I’ve spoken to the President’s concerns about retail theft. If you have specific — and in the actions we’ve taken — for specific cases, I would point to the local police departments or the Department of Justice.

(….)

1:20:27 p.m.
3 minutes and 10 seconds

SEAN SULLIVAN: The President has had to address a series of natural disasters, other severe weather occurrences this year —

PSAKI: Yeah.

SULLIVAN: — from wildfire to hurricanes and now these tornadoes and each time, we’ve heard time talk about how, I think he said this on Saturday, that these are not partisan moments, we’re not, you know, Republicans and Democrats, but we’ve also heard — also him on many occasions talk about the demonstrative effect of climate change. So, two questions. One, what, if anything, can we expect to hear from the President when he goes to Kentucky on Wednesday about — specifically about climate change and can you talk about how he balances those two imperatives of trying to strike this unifying note, but talking about an issue that, you know, frankly, is a partisan — that has caused a partisan divide?

PSAKI: You’re right. I — I’m not going to get ahead of what he’s going to say in Kentucky and, as I noted in response to Kelly’s question, I mean, that visit is really about him receiving an update of the work that’s happening on the ground, hearing directly from leaders on what they need more from the federal government, if anything, and he’s going to be very responsive to that and really trying to be a source of comfort to people who have been through a devastating couple of days in their communities. So, it’s not an opportunity — he’s not going to give a major speech while he’s there. I will note, and he’s been asked this a couple of times over the last few days and when we were — when he was in the northeast several months ago, what has striking to him and to all of us is just the impact of the climate — changes in the climate and the crisis that is the climate currently on — on communities across the country, on the cost to communities, on these major weather events that have impacted such a growing percentage of — [PHONE GOES OFF] — oh, oh, okay. We’re getting a little groovy in here, I like it. Okay.

REPORTER: My bad.

PSAKI: It’s kind of exactly what we needed right now. It’s all good. Yeah. I was enjoying it thoroughly. We should turn it back on in a few minutes. Anyway, there are some really startling statistics. I will actually get these — all — out to all of you about the percentage of people in the country who have impacted by severe weather events. It has increased over the course of time and the President will talk about this more. And it is not a political thing because look at the communities that have been impacted: red, blue, purple, no color at all, communities that don’t consider themselves political in any way, shape, or form and this is certainly a driving reason why we need to do more to address the climate crisis, but let me get back to you with those statistics, which I think have really struck the President as the reason why we need to act.

SULLIVAN: Along the same lines, the President, I think, said on Saturday that he would seek some input from the EPA about whether these specific tornadoes were caused by climate change, how much of a direct tie there was there. Has he got feedback from them and, if so, what have they informed him about the event?

PSAKI: I think he just answered a similar question this morning as well and it is something that he’ll just continue to discuss with his climate advisors and teams and, obviously, local leaders as well. But I don’t think there’s any new assessment of it. He just knows that because of the change in climate, because of the threat the climate crisis poses that we’re — we have seen more extreme weather events and that is a reason to act.

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