The ongoing — if horribly mismatched — battle of wits, between White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy took a turn away today from the usual amiable owning of the journalist by the communications official.
Psaki, who is always prepared to refute Doocy’s conspiracy theory-laden, loaded questions with an arsenal of facts, showed flashes of anger and impatience at his characterization of the Biden administration’s withdrawal efforts in Afghanistan as having left American citizens “stranded” in that country now controlled by the Taliban.
Starting his remarks with an assertion that most of the criticism of the Biden administration comes not because of the decision to follow through on Donald Trump’s agreement with the Taliban to remove U.S. troops from the country but from the manner in which the withdrawal was executed, Doocy characterized the exit strategy as “pulling the troops before getting these Americans who are now stranded” before asking if President Biden saw the situation that way.
Psaki’s ire at Doocy’s framing of the question was palpable as she responded to his insinuation.
“First of all I think it’s irresponsible to say ‘Americans are stranded.’ They are not. We are committed to bringing Americans who want to come home, home. We are in touch with them via phone, via text, via email, via any way that we can possibly reach Americans, to get them home if they want to return,” Psaki emphasized testily.
Doocy interrupted her reply with a skeptically-toned interjection.
“‘There are no Americans stranded’ is the White House’s official position on what’s happening in Afghanistan right now?” he said, confronting Psaki with his dubiousness.
“I’m just calling you out for saying that we are stranding Americans in Afghanistan when I said, we have been very clear that we are not leaving Americans who want to return home. We are going to bring then home. And I think that’s important for the American piublic to hear and understand,” the Press Secretary reiterated.
Psaki’s transparent frustration with the Fox News correspondent’s accusatory tone and baked-in assumptions of the administration’s supposed failure to protect American interests needs to be seen to be truly appreciated.
You can watch the exchange in the press briefing excerpt below.
"I think it's irresponsible to say Americans are 'stranded'" — Jen Psaki to Peter Doocy pic.twitter.com/0ZwZ8BkZ19
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 23, 2021
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.