During a recent daily briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki didn't miss a beat when one reporter questioned President Joe Biden's decision to travel internationally on a diplomatic trip to Western Europe.
The question came from CNN's Chief White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins, a former reporter for Tucker Carlson's ultra-right-wing website, The Daily Caller.
With Biden gearing up to make his initial voyage to the UK and Europe, Collins asked Psaki a very pointed question regarding his decision to travel amidst the continuing pandemic crisis.
Specifically, she asked if "given [Biden] is going to be traveling internationally ... whether it can be a period where everyday Americans also start resuming that kind of travel."
Psaki, without hesitation, swatted aside that suggestion.
"Well, I would say I think most Americans would see it as slightly different from the President of the United States—I'm not suggesting you're saying otherwise..."
"...but as a President of the United States making a diplomatic trip, abiding by COVID protocols and flying on Air Force One, than whether it is safe for mass numbers to fly internationally."
"Obviously, everybody wants that to be reopened. Europeans, we do, American people who would like to travel. But, you know those conversations are really happening between health and medical experts and they [will] make an evaluation based on what they think is safe for the American public."
The clip was included in a longer Twitter thread posted by Aaron Rupar.
Jen Psaki explains that there’s a difference between Biden making a diplomatic trip to Europe and everyday American… https://t.co/WvVNv2idLB— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1619194726.0
People on Twitter found Collins' question rather ridiculous.
@atrupar "Jen, my mom wants to travel and I just want to know why it's OK for the President to travel but not her.… https://t.co/GllHDAdNnf— The Lone Apple🍎🇦🇲 (@The Lone Apple🍎🇦🇲)1619194812.0
@atrupar It’s mind numbing that she even has to explain this. 🤦♀️🤦♀️🤦♀️— pat schwenk (@pat schwenk)1619194876.0
@atrupar That was a stupid question @kaitlancollins Do better.— Mr Skippy (@Mr Skippy)1619194865.0
Other people took the Collins moment as an illustration of broader, frustrating tendencies among reporters in the White House press corps.
@atrupar I'm surprised some of these reporters remember they need to breathe without having it explained to them.— Mark Gray (@Mark Gray)1619194808.0
@atrupar Amazing that so many WH reporters haven't adapted yet to asking legitimate questions when there is a legit… https://t.co/XoFw13nYNP— BobbyC💉💉 (2nd shot in...and now we wait) (@BobbyC💉💉 (2nd shot in...and now we wait))1619195180.0
@atrupar Did the Trump era also turn first rate reporters into second rate ones?— Liat 🌊🇬🇱🇺🇸 #democratsavage✊ (@Liat 🌊🇬🇱🇺🇸 #democratsavage✊)1619195353.0
So, no, hundred or thousands of people hopping on commercial flights overseas is not at all the same thing as the President flying in the controlled environment of Air Force One.
But sometimes it's nice to hear Jen Psaki eloquently shut down the suggestion of otherwise.