White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki delivered a low blow during an exchange with Fox News reporter Kristin Fisher over the southern border crisis caused by Joe Biden.
Psaki was feeling the heat as questions poured in from journalist because members of the media were being denied ride-alongs with border agents. Fisher also asked Psaki if Biden should cap the amount of children they allow into the USA.
Psaki told Fisher to ask the DHS not her about ride alongs being turned down.
Fisher then asked Psaki if it would be better at this time to “limit or cap to the number of unaccompanied minors that are going to be allowed into the U.S.?”
Psaki didn’t like that question and got personal, “Should we send some kids who are 10 back at a certain point? Is that what you’re asking me?”
Instead of freaking out like other members of the media during the Trump Administration, Fisher very calmly responded:
FISHER: I’m — I’m not setting the policy here. I’m asking you what the Biden administration policy is. Is there a limit to the number of — of children that will be allowed in. I mean, the numbers we’re hearing now, 565 on average every day. I’m just curious, what the — what the end game is here. How many ultimately will be allowed in?
PSAKI: I think where we are is we’re focused on some of the very specific numbers. So when we came into office, there existed 13,000 permanent beds in HHS, ORR — permanent and influx shelter systems facilities during the last administration. Thousands of these beds, approximately half were taken off line due to COVID. Staff was also reduced to put it on par with the new reduced capacity. This was sufficient for the prior administration. So, this is how we got here because they were expelling children. In addition to families and single adults. We decided, as all know, that we will be more humane about how we approach this. There was an operational capacity built. The prior administration did not consider there were mitigation efforts like masking and preventlation [sic], cohorting and other measures that would contain the spread of COVID. There’s now revised CDC guidance, which means there’s great capacity in these facilities where we can expedite children — expedite getting children into them. There are — we are taking steps to ensure that when kids come to the border, we look and see if they have a phone number in their pockets, so we can call the family member and get them to the family members as quick as possible. These are the steps that we’re taking at this point in time. Our policy continues to be, we’re not going to send a 10-year-old back across the border. That was the policy of the last administration. That’s not our policy here.
After Fisher completed here questions, ABC News Mary Bruce followed up about the ride alongs being denied by DHS.
Psaki maintained that any visit by journalists would have to respect “the privacy” of migrants “and, obviously, the health protocols required by COVID.”
Bruce tried again, but it was to no avail. And before lobbing a brief question about the IRS moving the tax-filing deadline, Bruce got the ball rolling about Border Patrol ride-alongs, saying that “we’re hearing from border agents that they are frustrated that they can’t show us what’s actually happening along the border” and there “seems like there’s an element of secrecy here.”
Psaki again wouldn’t give anyone a straight answer.