White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki shut down a Fox News reporter who suggested that it is President Joe Biden's fault that oil companies aren't producing more and offered several illogical schemes to lower gas prices and end American involvement in the Russian energy sector.
Fox News White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich, with whom Psaki has sparred before, had asked why the White House isn't increasing domestic energy production.
The problem with that question: The White House has no control over it.
You can watch their exchange in the video below
When Psaki reminded Heinrich that "there are 9000 approved oil leases that the oil companies are not tapping into currently" and urged her to direct her question to oil companies themselves, Heinrich asked her to explain "if there is anything the administration can do to get those providers back to pre-pandemic levels."
Psaki issued a blunt response, stressing her prior point that Heinrich's question would be better suited for the oil companies:
"Do you think the oil companies don't have enough money to drill on the places that have been pre-approved? I would point that question to them and we can talk about it more tomorrow when you learn more."
And when Heinrich asked her if the politically contentious (and since abandoned) Keystone XL pipeline and "energy-friendly policies might do that," Psaki was even more firm:
"The Keystone pipeline has never been operational. It would take years for that to have any impact. I know a number of members of Congress have suggested that but that is a proposed solution that has no relationship or would have no impact on what the problem is."
Heinrich took this answer as an affirmation that the United States would continue to purchase "more Russian oil," a suggestion that prompted Psaki to remind her that she is familiar with the Biden administration's steps to address the matter, which she referred to as "a historic release from this strategic petroleum reserve."
But Psaki's response was cut short after Heinrich asked her if buying Russian oil means the United States is "financing the war" between Russia and Ukraine.
Psaki dismantled Heinrich's line of questioning, stressing that the United States gets roughly 10 percent of its crude oil and refined products from Russia, a small share that it could likely replace with other sources if Russian supply lines are cut:
"Well, Jackie, again, it's only about 10% of what we're importing. I've not made any announcement about any decision on that front."
"But our objective here and our focus is making sure that any step we take maximizes the impact on President Putin and minimizes it on the American people and anyone who's calling for an end to the carve-out should be clear that that would raise prices."
The exchange quickly went viral, with many praising Psaki and criticizing Heinrich for asking misleading questions.
Psaki and Heinrich sparred last month after Heinrich suggested that "crime is not a priority of this administration," misconstruing comments Psaki had made about high crime rates being overhyped by Fox News and other conservative media outlets.
Psaki got right to the point, noting that her observations that "there’s an alternate universe on some coverage" and that many people "watch that and they think that the president isn’t doing anything to address people’s safety in New York" were simply a response to a chyron on Fox News, the very network Heinrich works for.