Doocy Hammers Psaki on Old Biden Tweets, Global Warming & Russia

The Psaki show’s Tuesday episode featured Fox’s Peter Doocy attacking Jen Psaki, Press Secretary for the Biden Administration’s assertion that climate change is America’s greatest threat. Doocy also asked a sharp question about an old Biden tweet. 

Once called on, Doocy wasted no time getting to the point, asking Psaki about an insane claim by the Biden Pentagon that the “greatest threat facing America is global warming.” Psaki was asked if this is still an administration assessment of global warming as despite the fact we “face down a possible cyberwar with Russia.”

Of course, Psaki tried running out the clock by telling Doocy that the U.S. “is always prepared for any threat any outside entity or country poses.” Psaki said that because the threats to global warming came from the Pentagon, they would need to be asked. 



Doocy wasn’t satisfied with the answer so he continued digging down. 

So as far as anybody watching who’s seen the coverage, it’s very–at times distressing images of Russian military movements. Is global warming the biggest threat currently facing Russia?

Psaki did not respond to Doocy’s question about whether global warming was the greatest threat America faces. Doocy recalled a tweet by Biden that he had sent moments earlier, in which he said Vladimir Putin didn’t want to become President. 

 On that front, Doocy asked Psaki about the tough-talking tweets from then-candidate Biden: 

 But so I guess to follow up on that the President said before he got here that Putin knows if I am President of the United States, his days of tyranny and trying to intimidate the United States and those in eastern Europe are over. It’s two and a half years later. He is intimidating the United States and those in Eastern Europe. 

Psaki clearly took offense to that claiming that “I would hardly put it that way” and bragged that “Biden has rallied the world, rallied Europe to stand up against the efforts and the actions of President Putin.” 

Later on in the briefing, Doocy’s wife and Fox Business Network correspondent Hillary Vaughn asked two questions of Psaki. The first was “if Nord Stream 2 going online was such a threat, why in May did the President waive sanctions on the company and the chief executive behind it?”

The second was “is there a concern that Nord Stream 2 if Russia were to make concessions or retreat in some way that that might open up the door to Norton stream 2 going back online, or is it your understanding that it is dead no matter what Russia does?” 



In response, Psaki said that Biden “has never been a supporter of Nord Stream 2” and that “Nord Stream 2 is not moving forward” nor has it “been operational anyway.”

Towards the end of the briefing Real Clear Politics’ Phillip Wegmann asked a good question about sanctions that clearly caught Psaki off guard. Wegmann asked if any of the sanctions against Russian oligarchs and elites were “being sanctioned for the first time” or were they simply repeat offenders. Psaki had no answer and told Wegmann that she would get back to him with a “more specific breakdown.”   

Wegmann’s second question was equally intriguing when recalled that White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan warned that the “Russian invasion of Ukraine would lead to U.S. Sanctions warning that would necessarily make Moscow more beholden to Beijing” and that if the Biden administration is “taking any steps or issuing any warnings to keep those geopolitical foes from aligning together and marching in lockstep?” 

Psaki said that China and Russia were already “moving closer together in some capacity” long before the current Russia/Ukraine conflict. 

To see the relevant briefing transcript from February 22, click “expand.”

White House press briefing (via CBSN) 
5:43 p.m. Eastern 

JEN PSAKI: Go ahead, Peter.

PETER DOOCY: Thank you, Jen. The President said in the spring that Pentagon generals had briefed him that the greatest threat facing America is global warming. Is that still the assessment now that we are facing down a potential cyberwar with Russia?

PSAKI: Well let me first say that there’s no– while we are always prepared for any threat any outside entity or country poses to the United States as it relates to cyber or anything else. There is no current pending threat as it relates to cyber. In terms of the threats you’re touching on, that was a briefing from the military. So I would point you to them.

DOOCY: And so as far as anybody watching who’s seen the coverage, it’s very–at times distressing images of Russian military movements. The number one threat facing the country right now remains global warming?

PSAKI: Well, Peter, I think it’s important as we’re all educating the public here to convey and reiterate the President has no intention of sending U.S. Troops into Ukraine to fight in Ukraine. What we are doing is we are abiding by our obligations to our NATO allies and partners to ensure that they have the support and the resources that they need. And that is our right and our obligation as the United States.

DOOCY: Okay. And why do you guys think that sanctions are going to stop Putin if his goal ultimately is to redraw the map so it looks like it did 70 or 80 years ago? What sanction is going to stop him from doing that?

PSAKI: Well, I think just to kind of reiterate maybe something you touched on there. For anyone who watched his speech last night, what he made clear in that speech is that he doesn’t even necessarily doesn’t recognize the Independence of Ukraine as a country. And that certainly gives us an indication of where his intentions are at this point in time. Sanctions can be a powerful tool. They have been in a lot of moments throughout history. And what we view them as or how we’re viewing them as we’re starting high, as Daleep just conveyed here in terms of the significance and the severity of the sanctions that were announced today. Yes, our intention is to have a deterrent effect. And there are, well what they have done to date is completely unacceptable. There certainly are far worse that can happen. What we want to do is prevent a large-scale invasion, death, and destruction across Ukraine, devastation to the Ukrainian people. And what happens with sanctions is they work overtime. They’re not an end. They’re not intended to max out the beginning. They’re long-lasting and sustainable and they’re intended to squeeze. But if you look at what is happening now what President Putin has stated as his intention is he wants to divide NATO. The opposite of that has happened, Peter. He also wanted to geopolitical project Nord Stream 2 to go forward. That has not happened. He wants to make sure there is a vibrant economy for the Russian people. They’re not on that track. So his intentions and his objectives are not playing out.

DOOCY:However, I think I will continue to quote the President before he came here. He said that Putin is aware that if he becomes President of America his days are numbered. Now it is two and half years later. He’s intimidating both the Americans and Eastern Europeans. 

PSAKI : That would not be a fair way to describe it. It would be viewed through the lens of America and President Biden, who have rallied Europe against President Putin’s actions and efforts.


PSAKI: What have we done? 

DOOCY – $4 or $5 Gas, whichever is higher.  

PSAKI – You asked me whether we had been intimidated by Vladimir Putin. But I don’t think there is any evidence. 


Eastern at 6:08 pm 

HILLARY VAUGHN: Thanks, Jen, two quick questions on Nord Stream 2. First, the deputy director said just now that stopping Norton Stream 2 freed Europe from the geostrategic blockade Russia placed on it. If Nord Stream 2 was such a danger, then why did President Obama waive the sanctions against the company’s chief executive and on its founder? My second question: Is there a risk that Nord Stream 2 could be reopened if Russia makes concessions, retreats in a way that would open the doors to Norton stream 2 being back online? Or is that your belief that it’s dead regardless of what Russia does. 

PSAKI: I’d like to first say that President Obama has not been a Nord Stream 2 supporter. We’ve always criticized it as a project that we didn’t support. The German Chancellor’s announcement today that we had taken a number of sanctions measures, which included sanctions to clarify the point, was not accidental. After a number of diplomatic engagements with the President, and the efforts of members of our national safety team in unity with the Europeans regarding the fact that it could not proceed, the announcement by the German Chancellor was made. We’ve never felt, the President didn’t feel that issuing preemptive sanctions on that was the right step to take, but look where we are. Nord Stream 2 is not moving forward and by the way it hasn’t been operational anyway. So you know, that’s the fact. It’s not moving forward at this point in time. In terms of the future, we’ve never felt that it was a good project, we’ve been clear about that. And that assessment, I don’t expect would change in the future. 


Eastern at 6:11

PHILIP WEGMANN: Thank you, Jen. I’ve got two questions, quickly. A list of sanctions was issued by the administration against elites and oligarchs. The question I have is whether these are repeat offenders or if they are sanctioning them for the first. 

PSAKI: That’s a good question. I’m sure we can get you a breakdown of that. Some of these are brand new. I’m certain that the banks too are. We will give you more detail. 

WEGMANN: I have a second question. When Jake Sullivan last visited us, he stated that if Russia invades Ukraine, the U.S. would issue sanctions warnings that would make Moscow even more dependent on Beijing. As both these countries aren’t exactly friendly, is the administration taking steps to warn them about possible geopolitical enemies from joining together?

PSAKI: We saw China and Russia becoming closer in certain capacities long before recent events. But right now as we are looking at the actions of President Putin and as we’re preparing for him to further invade Ukraine to, unfortunately, put forward death and destruction on the country and the people of Ukraine, it’s really a question for China on whether they look at that and think that’s acceptable behavior. You may have seen that the Secretary of State spoke with his counterpart within the past 24 hours. And we will certainly remain and continue to engage, but I think it’s about looking at where the global community is in this moment and determining where you want to stand.

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