Politics

Jen Psaki shuts down Christian reporter who compared abortion to “hiring a hitman”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing on Friday August 6, 2021, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a press briefing on Friday August 6, 2021, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House.Photo: Official White House Photo by Erin Scott

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki shut down a conservative Christian reporter repeatedly asking about President Joe Biden’s position on abortion because she literally didn’t have time for it.

Owen Jensen of the Eternal World Television Network – a Catholic channel – asked Psaki if Biden agrees with Pope Francis’s opposition to abortion.

Related: Jen Psaki pounds Fox reporter who compares Biden to Trump

“The White House has said they will discuss working together on efforts grounded in respect for fundamental human dignity,” Jensen said, referring to Biden’s upcoming meeting with the pope.

“Will that include the human dignity of the unborn?”

Such questions have come up time and again in White House Press BriefingsJensen himself has asked similar questions in the past – as Christian conservative journalists who know perfectly well that Biden is pro-choice apparently believe that they can debate Psaki until Biden changes his mind on the issue.

“Well, one is, you know, although you asked me most often, if not every time, about abortion, but I will say there is a great deal of agreement…” Psaki starts to answer, before Jensen interrupted.

“Let me finish my answer,” she started again, talking over Jensen and saying that Biden and the pope have a lot in common when it comes to “poverty, combating the climate crisis, ending the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“These are all hugely important, impactful issues that will be the centerpiece of what their discussion is when they meet,” she said.

Psaki tried to move on to another reporter and repeatedly told Jensen “I answered your question.” The point of the press briefing is for the White House to provide information and the administration’s point of view, even if journalists don’t personally agree with it. But Jensen wouldn’t stop arguing about abortion in the form of a question.

“The pope has said abortion is murder, and it’s like hiring a hitman. Does the president agree or disagree with that?” he shouted over the other journalist Psaki called on.

Unsurprisingly, Psaki said that Biden does not agree with that and reminded Jensen that he should already know that Biden is pro-choice.

“You know that the president believes in a woman’s right to choose. You’re very familiar with this issue. We’ve spoken about it many times,” she said, annoyed. She then just stopped listening to him as she talked to the next journalist.

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