In the final episode of The Psaki Show before Thanksgiving, Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy went into the break with a bang as he grilled Jen Psaki over far-left Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s proposal to abolish prisons, pressing for answers on whether President Biden will apologize for impugning Kyle Rittenhouse’s character, the record costs for Thanksgiving dinner, and Biden’s holiday vacation to Nantucket.
Doocy started his turn by gaging Biden’s interest in Tlaib’s radical proposal that caused her to be on the end of a brutal exchange with Axios’s Jonathan Swan:
A couple days ago, President Biden was in Michigan and he was thanking Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib for the passport into her district. Now she is supporting legislation that would release all federal prisoners within two years. Would the President ever support that?
Psaki wasn’t interested in having egg on her face (at least on this issue), insisting she was “absolutely clear” in stating Biden “does not support abolishing prisons” or “defunding the police” because they would “make us less safe and he would not support legislation that includes it.”
The Fox reporter moved on to Rittenhouse and followed up on questions he asked from November 15: “Would the President ever apologize to the acquitted Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse for suggesting online and on TV that he is a white supremacist?”
Predictably, Psaki made it all about Donald Trump: “[T]his is about a campaign video release last year that used President Trump's own words during a debate as he refused to condemn white supremacists and militia groups.”
Without stating it, Psaki appeared to give oxygen to Biden’s lie, saying he’s called out “the tragic consequences of” extremists feeling emboldened to the point “when people think it is okay to take the law into their own hands instead of allowing law enforcement to do its job.”
Doocy stood his ground and fact-checked her, but Psaki again chose to give a wink and nod to the lies (click “expand”):
DOOCY: But if – you’re saying that it was just a campaign video. It wasn’t. The President also gave an interview where he said this – Rittenhouse was part of a militia coming out of Illinois. Have you ever heard this President – referring to Trump -- say one negative thing about white supremacists? These are all things -- none of this was proven in the trial and Kyle Rittenhouse is saying that the President had actual malice in defaming his character. Is that what happened here?
PSAKI: The – the President spoke to the verdict last week. He has, obviously, condemned the hatred and division and violence we’ve seen around the country by groups like the Proud Boys and groups that individual has posed in photos with. But, beyond that, I’ll leave it to his comments around the verdict.
Combining his final two subjects into one, Doocy wanted to know “what message does it send” to struggling Americans as they’re trying “to cover the cost of the most expensive Thanksgiving ever that the President is going to take a few days off at a billionaire's compound in Nantucket.”
Psaki made a caveat that “any increase in prices is something [he’s] concerned about,” but she had a treadmill-like situation on her hands as she said while she wasn’t sure “if you’ve cooked a turkey before, but a 20-pound turkey is a pretty big” one and it only costs “about one dollar more” this year.
Before she moved onto NBC’s Monica Alba, Doocy refocused the question on the Nantucket excursion: “But the President said today that he was sent here to look out for these working and middle-class families who are strained right now. What should they read into him leaving now at this time of great personal financial hardship for so many to go to Nantucket for the week?”
Of course, Psaki ducked it, suggesting Biden was no different than everyone else in wanting time with loved ones.
And to add a footnote, the previous episode of The Psaki Show on Monday featured Doocy bringing the receipts for how Psaki herself denounced the Trump administration for rejecting a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score as she and her team were doing just that with CBO’s Build Back Better score (click “expand”):
DOOCY: When the last administration tried to say that the CBO was incorrect, you tweeted, “Watching Mulvaney try to walk away from a CBO score and explain the budget outline is awkward and uncomfortable to watch.” So, what is the difference between the Trump administration saying, “don’t listen to the CBO,” and the Biden administration saying, “don’t listen to the CBO.”
PSAKI: Actually, we’ve praised the overall work of the CBO on the Build Back Better Act repeatedly and that’s what we believe, but again, I would point to the fact that there isn’t a great deal of history or experience in scoring IRS enforcement. That’s something that economists across the board have noted. That’s something that leaders on the Hill, Democrats and Republicans have been briefed on for several months now and that’s why it wasn’t really a surprise to them and why the vote, in part, moved forward.
And in another sign of how perilous things have become for the administration, liberal media journalists were similarly prepared as they fired off tough questions for Psaki and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm about the high gas prices.
How bad was it? Two of the questioners were CNNers in chief national affairs correspondent Jeff Zeleny and CNN political analyst/Grio correspondent April Ryan.
To see the transcript of those questions (and an outstanding closing question from McClatchy’s Francesca Chambers) from November 23’s briefing, click here.