Politics

Jen Psaki shuts down far-right journalist who wouldn’t stop shouting at her

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 shut down a far-right journalist who shouted questions at her after the press briefing was over yesterday.

The reporter was bothered enough by Psaki scolding her that she wrote a bizarre message about the whole thing on Twitter and one of her coworkers ineffectually mocked Psaki.

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Emerald Robinson of Newsmax – a conservative news site that grew dramatically last year as it trafficked in conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election – has a tendency to shout questions after the White House press briefing is over.

After finishing her response to question about Afghan refugees, Psaki said that the briefing was done.

“Okay, thanks, everyone. All right, have a great day. I’ll see you tomorrow, or later this afternoon,” she said as she packed up her things to leave. One journalist shouted “thank you” back at her, making it clear that everyone understood that the briefing was over.

Everyone except Robinson.

“I have a question on the polling. The president’s polling continues to collapse-” she shouted as Psaki was walking away.

“Emerald, I know you like to shout at the end,” Psaki cut her off. She spoke evenly and was clearly not angry, just enforcing a boundary to stay on schedule. “Next time, we’ll do it during the briefing.”

“Well, if you’d call on me-” Robinson started to respond.

“Thank you so much,” Psaki said as she exited.

The exchange wouldn’t have been remarkable, but conservatives online claimed that Psaki “snapped” at Robinson. That is perhaps a matter of judgment, but it does seem to stretch the definition of “snap” quite a bit.

Robinson also appeared to be bothered, retweeting the video with the message “223,000 views and counting,” probably referring to views although it’s not clear why she would brag about so many people seeing her in that moment.

Robinson’s colleague – Newsmax TV host Greg Kelly – tried to attack Psaki by calling her “Jennifer” – with inexplicable scare quotes since that’s just Psaki’s first name – and said she “really SUCKS at being @PressSec” because she left the briefing after it was over instead of taking more questions.

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