White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is being praised on Twitter for her competent but dismissive handling of "gotcha" questions from Fox News' White House correspondent, Peter Doocy—Fox & Friends host Steve Doicy's son.
During a recent press conference, Doocy asked this question:
"President Trump was imposing travel restrictions in March specifically on China. Then-candidate Biden called it 'xenophobic' and 'fear-mongering.' So, now-President Biden is putting travel restrictions on people coming in from other countries. What words would you use to describe this?"
Though President Biden—and many others—cited former President Donald Trump for his xenophobia, it was unrelated to his ban on Chinese travel.
Psaki calmly addressed this discrepancy in her answer.
Not a great start for Fox here https://t.co/GaTsrrOP8k— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn Torabi)1611600975.0
Psaki dealt with Doocy's loaded question, saying:
"Well, I don't think that's quite a fair articulation. The President has been clear that he felt the Muslim ban was xenophobic; he overturned the Muslim ban."
"He also though has supported, and he himself—even before we did, I should say even before he was inaugurated—steps, travel restrictions in order to keep the American people safe, to ensure that we are getting the pandemic under control, that's been part of his policy."
"But he was critical of the former President for having a policy that was not more comprehensive than travel restrictions, and he conveyed at the time and, more recently, the importance of having a multifaceted approach, mask wearing, vaccine distribution, funding in order to get 100 million shots in the arms of Americans in the first 100 days, not just travel restrictions."
White House briefing showing civility and respect. What was old is new again.— Michael Beschloss (@Michael Beschloss)1611599177.0
@Acyn I love how gracefully she replies to them. She’s not combative. She’s not in defense mode. So refreshing from… https://t.co/9972yaB9py— politico (@politico)1611601493.0
@Acyn Douchy comes with preloaded, insincere questions to inflame, and Psaki would just calmly fire back with facts… https://t.co/uiORCBnn1b— Chris "New Hope" 2021 (@Chris "New Hope" 2021)1611601396.0
Twitter loved Psaki's calm, fact-based answer.
@Acyn I love how she shuts down their BS with a complete, intelligent, articulate answer, and does it without telling any lies.— Diane (@Diane)1611601414.0
Of course, she was likely prepared for a question like this from Doocy.
Like his father, Doocy used his position and his questions to paint a negative picture of President Biden to demonstrate his devotion to Donald Trump.
@Acyn This wasn't his first dumb question— BabyLisa (@BabyLisa)1611601061.0
Adding this https://t.co/iHHbKNfSCg— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn Torabi)1611609934.0
@Acyn Peter Douchey is obsessed with finding discrepancies in Biden statements (which don't exist) and couldn't car… https://t.co/da2PCdeC1S— MightyMary007 (@MightyMary007)1611601537.0
@Acyn He did the same in the first day. Doocy: “Why didn’t Amazon offer to help Trump with vaccine distribution?”… https://t.co/P2RlFPwDca— Gideon Neptune (@Gideon Neptune)1611604337.0
Twitter collectively celebrated seeing a White House Press Secretary who was more interested in facts than spin.
...and now let's watch @PressSec turn Peter Doocy into a crumbled piece of trash being thrown into a paper basket. https://t.co/IcKFzzbXxM— Luis Miguel Echegaray (@Luis Miguel Echegaray)1611601242.0
@Acyn @PressSec Jen Psaki is the bomb! She defines #GraceUnderFire— Putin: Release Navalny Now (@Putin: Release Navalny Now)1611601232.0
@Acyn Wow. A real Press Secretary.— Vote for a Blue Senate 💙 (@Vote for a Blue Senate 💙)1611601208.0
Doocy was also criticized pretty harshly online for his question.
This Doocy kid at the White House press briefing answers an important question about whether being a spineless scum… https://t.co/EVQ8T4sna1— Adam Parkhomenko (@Adam Parkhomenko)1611601487.0
Peter Doocy is just like his father. A waste of space and the fact that he’s associated with journalism because he… https://t.co/5xaLYHnsTN— JG (@JG)1611603109.0
Peter Doocy: I’m here to ask you gotcha questions Jen Psaki: Go hug a cactus— Baligubadle (@Baligubadle)1611603018.0
Jen Psaki's professional demeanor behind the White House podium served, for many, as a reminder that a new era has begun in Washington DC.