White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki sparred with Fox News reporter Peter Doocy after Doocy appeared more concerned with the fact someone leaked a draft majority SCOTUS opinion that would dismantle reproductive rights rather than the fact the opinion would effectively dismantle existing reproductive freedom.
Their exchange came as the nation reeels from the news that a leaked draft opinion indicated the SCOTUS' ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization will move to strike down Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that protects a person's right to choose reproductive healthcare without excessive government restriction.
Doocy asked Psaki several questions about the leak and how the White House would respond, questions that prompted Psaki to say that neither she nor the White House care to be "distracted" by a discussion about document security given the detrimental impact a ruling that strikes down Roe v. Wade would have on women's rights.
You can watch what happened in the video below.
After Doocy, the son of Fox host Steve Doocy, questioned why the White House had issued a response to the leak, Psaki pointed out President Joe Biden's remark “we don’t know if this is accurate" came before the Supreme Court had verified the document.
But when Doocy asked whether President Biden believes "the leaker should be punished," Psaki responded:
"Again, that's up for the Department of Justice and others to determine."
“What our focus is on is not getting our — distracted — or our eye off the ball of what is most important to people across the country here, which is not the leak and the story of the leak."
“It is the fact that women’s healthcare is at risk for millions of people across this country.”
Many have praised Psaki for her response and have criticized Doocy as well as Fox News' coverage.
Republican lawmakers and conservative news networks have characterized the leak a “far-left” plot to intimidate Supreme Court Justices.
Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley declared that the leak indicates that "the left continues its assault on the Supreme Court with an unprecedented breach of confidentiality, clearly meant to intimidate," a remark that was echoed by other Senators, including Mike Lee (Utah) Marco Rubio (Florida).
Earlier, Newsmax host Grant Stinchfield was criticized after he claimed without evidence that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is responsible for leaking the draft opinion.
However, Jackson, who last month was confirmed to the Supreme Court despite attacks from Republicans who cast her as a liberal extremist with a lenient sentencing record, could not have been the source of the leak because she has not yet been sworn in and won't be until this summer.
The Supreme Court has confirmed the draft opinion is "authentic" but says "it does not represent a decision by the court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case."
Chief Justice John Roberts said the leak signals a "betrayal of the confidences of the Court" but insisted while it was "intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed."