Politics

Jen Psaki shoots down Fox News reporter with jab about Trump administration

Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a Press Briefing, Wednesday June 2, 2021, in the James S. Brady White House Press Briefing Room. (Official White House Photo by Cameron Smith)
Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a Press Briefing, Wednesday June 2, 2021, in the James S. Brady White House Press Briefing Room.Photo: Official White House Photo by Cameron Smith

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki went viral as she shot down a question from a Fox News reporter with a shot at the Trump administration.

Fox’s Peter Doocy asked Psaki yesterday about sexual harassment allegations against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and, specifically, whether the U.S. Department of Justice would be investigating those allegations.

Related: Jen Psaki burns Donald Trump over his obsession with Twitter

When the allegations of sexual harassment were first leveled at Cuomo, President Joe Biden said he thought the governor should resign if an investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James determined the claims were true. James released her report yesterday, saying Cuomo had repeatedly abused his power in a predatory manner.

After Psaki told Doocy that Biden would be addressing the allegations himself later that day, Doocy pressed her on whether or not the president plans to interfere in the legal process.

“Does the administration want the Justice Department to initiate a civil rights investigation into these harassment allegations revealed today?” Doocy asked.

“We do something new here that feels foreign from the last four years and allow the Justice Department to act independently on investigations,” she responded dryly before moving on.

Psaki, in her response, was referring to the many scandals during Donald Trump’s term in office where he pressured the Justice Department to either investigate or refrain from taking action, sometimes going so far as to fire uncooperative officials or pressure them to resign.

One of the most famous of those was former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who gave up his seat in the U.S. Senate to lead the Justice Department. A year later, Trump publicly criticized him because he recused himself from the Justice Department’s investigation into Russian election interference because he was personally named in some of the allegations.

But that act of professional judgment – along with others – eventually cost Sessions his job when he resigned in 2018 under pressure from Trump.

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