A day after he was left off the pre-selected list of reporters called on at President Biden’s first press conference, Fox News Channel White House correspondent Peter Doocy came locked and loaded for Friday’s regular briefing, blasting Press Secretary Jen Psaki over Biden’s past support for the Senate filibuster, the administration’s misleading claims about the border, and the administration’s clear insulating of the President from Fox.
Doocy cut right to the chase as the fourth reporter called on, noting that Biden has “said he thinks the filibuster is a legacy of the Jim Crow era” and then asking whether he thought so in 2005:
Did he think that it was the legacy of Jim Crow era in 2005 when he defended the filibuster and said, altering Senate rules to help one political fighter over another could become standard operating procedure, which in my view would be disastrous.”
For anyone expecting Psaki to be factual, the joke’s on you. Psaki told Doocy that while “the filibuster was used about 58 times” “between 1917 and 1971,” but was used in 2020 “five times that many” and thus it’s “being abused” and “not...for the intended purpose.”
Psaki added that the filibuster has been “allowing for systemic racism” and thus it needs to be removed in order to pass the far-left, radical For the People Act.
The former CNNer conveniently left out the fact that, until January, Senate Democrats were in the minority and, according to FNC’s America Reports co-host John Roberts (who went postal over Psaki's treatment of Doocy), they used the filibuster 327 times. By Biden’s logic, his colleagues (including Vice President Harris) were believers in a “Jim Crow” America until January 20.
Back at the briefing, Doocy followed up on the filibuster (click “expand”):
DOOCY: There are some concerns on the right that, if you get rid of the filibuster, it effectively means one party rule. So is that what the President was getting at when he was asked about 2024, he said, “I have no idea if there will be a Republican Party.”
PSAKI: Well, that certainly wasn't what he was getting at. Given as part of his answer, he conveyed that his objective and his hope is to work with Republicans. He wants to get work done for the American people. He wants to put in place solutions, put people back to work at the pandemic under control, make voting easier and more accessible, and it's really on Republicans in Congress to decide if they're going to be part of the solution or if they're going to be a part of obstruction. So, he's leaving it up to them to make the decision on what role they want to play in history.
Skipping ahead to the last exchange, Doocy noted that Fox has realized going back to “the end of the campaign” that “any time that the President has an event where he was given a list of reporters to call on, Fox is the only member of the five network TV pool that has never been on the list in front of the President.”
Doocy dropped the hammer with this question: “And I'm just curious, if that is an official administration policy.”
Psaki attempted to filibuster by suggesting he should be content with the fact that she’s “having a conversation” with him, “take[s] question from you every time,” and that Biden has acknowledged him, but Doocy was having none of that since that’s only been the case “when I have shouted after he goes through his whole list, and the President has been very generous with his time with Fox.”
He added: “I’m just curious about this list that he has given — the only member of the five network pool never on it dating back to when he resumed in-person events in Wilmington during the end of the campaign.”
Psaki tried to divert attention by complimenting him on the socks he was wearing before closing with a shameless plug for her upcoming Fox News Sunday hit.
Before that back-and-forth on press access, Doocy fact-checked Biden’s claim that “the majority — the overwhelming majority of people coming in the border and crossing are being sent back” (click “expand”):
DOOCY: On the border, the President said yesterday: “the vast majority — the overwhelming majority of people coming in the border and crossing are being sent back.” But only 13 percent of the 13,000 families that tried to cross the last week were sent back, according to Axios. So where do we get a majority out of 13 percent?
PSAKI: The vast majority of adults are being sent back.
DOOCY: Okay, so the family units 87 percent of them are being taken into the United States to either be resettled or await — [AUDIO FEEDBACK] — await their hearings. I'm just curious, 87 percent in the country of the family units is not a majority being sent back.
PSAKI: A majority of adults, which every adult is not a part of a family unit, as I'm sure you're fully tracking —
PSAKI: — and tens of thousands of people are coming to our border. We know that and so the majority of adults are being turned away. Our policy remains the same. We are implementing Section 42. As the President touched on and I touched on a little bit earlier this week, we — there are capacity issues in Mexico, which we are in discussions with them about addressing and they are not in a position to accept and take the families that they have in the past. So that's part of the diplomatic discussions that were having.
Elsewhere in the briefing, a noticeable takeaway was the return of the coronavirus as a topic with at least 11 questions from five reporters about the pandemic after none of the ten reporters Biden called on touched on COVID.
One of those reporters was NBC’s Kristen Welker, who grilled Psaki about the continued refusal of teachers and teachers unions to return to full, in-person schooling despite the CDC making clear that being vaccinated isn’t “required” to return safely.
A few minutes later, she pressed Psaki on when journalists would again be allowed inside an illegal immigrant detention facility because Biden’s comments about them yesterday “sounded to a lot of people like he was saying, I will left more cameras in once I'm satisfied with the conditions.”
And towards the back end of the briefing, one reporter brought up the ongoing attempt by House Democrats to undo the results of November’s election in Iowa’s second congressional district by removing Congresswoman Marinannette Miller-Meeks (R) because she only won by six votes to replace her with Democrat Rita Hart.
Psaki answered by giving the White House’s blessing: “I believe the — that the — the process that is outlined by the House of Representatives is what's being followed here to ensure every vote is counted. So no, he wouldn't agree with that.”
Unlike the unsuccessful and fact-plagued attempt by President Trump and some of his supporters, the gears have been set in motion for this overturning to actually happen and, with these comments, the executive branch has given their stamp of approval.
To see the relevant transcript from March 26's briefing, click here.