Politics

Jen Psaki gets laughs as she refuses to fall for Fox reporter’s trick question

Press Secretary Jen Psaki answers questions from members of the press Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Chandler West)
Press Secretary Jen Psaki answers questions from members of the press Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Chandler West)Photo: White House

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki drew laughs from reporters when she mocked a “hypothetical” question from a Fox News reporter at yesterday’s press briefing.

Sources close to Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said yesterday that he will soon retire from the Supreme Court, which meant that talk of who President Joe Biden will choose to replace him dominated the news.

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And it also made things awkward at the White House press briefing. Since Breyer hasn’t officially announced anything, Psaki refused to answer several reporters’ questions about who Biden is considering out of respect for the Court.

But that didn’t stop Doocy from trying to pull a fast one on Psaki.

“Again, Peter, I’m not going to speak to the reports of a Supreme Court justice retirement that hasn’t been announced,” Psaki responded the first time Doocy asked.

“So, theoretically, would someone-” Doocy tried again.

“Theoretically?” Psaki cut him off. “I do like that you preface it.  I appreciate that.”

“Would – just wondering, hypothetically and theoretically – would someone who was an attorney general of a large state and who served with many key Senate votes be an attractive candidate to the president for an open Supreme Court seat?” Doocy asked earnestly.

Biden promised during his presidential campaign in 2020 to nominate a Black woman for the Supreme Court, which would be a historic first. Pundits have speculated that Biden could nominate Vice President Kamala Harris, who used to be the attorney general of California and then became a senator… and the person Doocy was probably referring to.

Clever as it was, Psaki didn’t fall for his trap.

“I see what you did there, Peter,” she said, getting laughter from the press corps. “But the president has every intention, as he said before, of running for reelection, and for running for reelection with Vice President Harris on the ticket as his partner.”

Doocy wasn’t the only reporter at the press briefing to ask specifically about Harris. NBC’s Peter Alexander asked if there’s “any scenario” in which Biden would put Harris on the Supreme Court.

Psaki refused to answer.

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