Monday marked another return to a full White House Briefing Room and, for this episode of the Psaki Show, Reuters’s Andrea Shalal strayed into authoritarianism by asking Press Secretary Jen Psaki whether the Biden administration was investigating “conservative” and “right-wing forces in the U.S.” for supporting truck drivers in Canada protesting that government’s COVID mandates.
Referring to the “situation...in Ottawa” with “the truckers protest,” Shalal showed her bias and aversion to non-left-wing protests with this odious view of conservatives and Republicans: “[T]here does seem to be evidence that these truckers are getting support from conservative forces or right-wing forces in the U.S.”
The horror! She made it seem like conservatives are a cabal that could have a tunnel network to Canada, envelopes filled with money, disguises, and all the bells and whistles.
Shalal took that warped world view and, seeming to agree with the Canadian government’s framing of the truckers as insurrectionists, she wanted to know if the U.S. government would be going after right-leaning Americans for merely supporting the truckers:
Are you investigating that at all? Is there any, kind of, you know, involvement of U.S. authorities in looking at those money flows going to these truckers? And are you concerned about it?
Instead of dismissing the insanity of this call to prosecute political dissent, Psaki largely sidestepped the question and said she didn’t “have any update on that or any — any investigation to read out at this point in time” with regard to “an assessment of any other engagement.”
Psaki maintained the administration has “been engaged since the outset...of the protests” and could report that “[t]here have been zero impacts to CBP operations,” even “some shipments were rerouted by our law enforcement partners to other points of entry due to road closures.”
Elsewhere, there was a flurry of solid questions about the Biden administration’s hypocrisy regarding employee conduct following a report about misbehavior from the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Dr. Eric Lander.
Hours after reporters repeatedly hit Psaki by pointing to President Biden’s pledge about workplace culture on Inauguration Day, Lander resigned.
Oh, and The Grio’s April Ryan made her presence known with this lame question about whether President Biden has consulted on the Supreme Court vacancy with Anita Hill.
To see the relevant briefing transcript from February 7, click “expand.”
White House press briefing (via ABC News Live)
February 7, 2022
2:14 p.m. Eastern
ANDREA SHALAL: [T]his situation on the Canadian bor — or in Ottawa, the truckers protest — there does seem to be evidence that these truckers are getting support from conservative forces or right-wing forces in the U.S. Are you investigating that at all? Is there any, kind of, you know, involvement of U.S. authorities in looking at those money flows going to these truckers? And are you concerned about it?
PSAKI: Well, I would say a couple of things. This doesn’t answer your question, but I just want to get this out there too on this particular topic, and then I’ll come around. I promise. We have been engaged since the outset — well, some of it hopefully answers your question, I should say — of the protests. There have been zero impacts to CBP operations, which is a question people have understandably been asking us. Some — some shipments were rerouted by our law enforcement partners to other points of entry due to road closures. Some shippers have had to reroute. But CBP has been in communication throughout to ensure shipments can be cleared and onto the normal routes. In terms of an assessment of any other engagement from here, we have — we don’t really have any update on that or any — any investigation to read out at this point in time.