The following are the Second day in a row on Wednesday, Fox’s Jacqui Heinrich pressed lame duck White House press secretary Jen Psaki on both Hunter Biden’s life of corruption and the ongoing crisis at the border as the Biden administration continues to divert resources away from American citizens and toward illegal immigrants.
Heinrich sandwiched her Hunter Biden questions in between back-and-forth’s on Saturday’s White House Correspondents Dinner (WHCD) and Title 42, stating she “want[ed] to take another stab at a question I tried yesterday.”
“We’ve heard the President say over and over again that he has never spoken to his son about his business dealings. Has he ever spoken to his son’s business partners about his son’s business dealings,”She asked.
Psaki said it was as simple as possible for the U.S. Assistant and Grand Jury in Delaware. “nothing has changed about what I said yesterday” In that President Biden “does not get involved in the business dealings of his son.”
Heinrich followed Psaki twice to repeat her feat.
HEINRICH: Even through his son’s business partners?
PSAKI: Since yesterday’s speech, nothing has changed.
HEINRICH: Okay. I don’t believe you answered that part of my question yesterday though.
PSAKI: He’s not involved in his son’s business dealings.
On the ever-pompous WHCD, Heinrich cited Dr. Tony Fauci’s withdrawal from the dinner to wonder if there’s “any concern that the President would be seen as not following the science in some way” by still attending.
Psaki insisted it’s a personal and private decision, but for Biden and Psaki herself, both have made risk assessments and will wear masks when not speaking (on top of the fact that the dinner RequiresBoth proof of negative COVID-19 testing and vaccination.
Psaki used the question to puff up Biden’s love of the media (which the feelings are mutual), stating he wants to “showcase his support for the free press, for the work of all of you…to not only share accurate information about COVID but also report on the war in Ukraine and all of the work that happens every single day…in stark contrast to” Donald Trump.
Concerning Title 42, Heinirch started by pointing out the fact that, as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s six-point plan to address Title 42’s eventual end (and impending surge), “part of it involves sending healthcare providers from the VA.”
Heinrich fired off the natural reaction, which was to question why it’s “appropriate to be taking resources away from the VA to help with the surge at the border.”
Psaki dismissed the issue, calling it an error. “made through the interagency process” even as “having support and resources for our nation’s veterans”remains “a top priority to the President.”
Heinrich next went to pulling apart the notion that adding only “600 law enforcement officers” would “make a dent” in the crisis as well as poke at the Democratic Party being in disarray on the issue (click “expand”):
CBP currently has 23,000 agents at the southern border. We’re already seeing 7,000 illegal crossings a day; that is expected to surge to 18,000 when Title 42 is lifted. What is the impact of 600 more law enforcement officers on illegal crossings?
PSAKI: Well, I would say, Jacqui, that one of the reasons that Secretary Mayorkas is participating…testifying on the Hill is to answer the questions…I would point you to his many hours of testimony today and tomorrow.
HEINRICH: And then there’s been reporting that Speaker Pelosi is unhappy with the way that the White House has handled Title 42 and worried that if it comes up for a vote…Democrats wouldn’t have the votes to defeat that. Is the White House concerned about this? Pelosi seems a little unsure about just how close she actually is to the White House in this matter.
PSAKI: Well, I would say we’re incredibly close…I don’t have more to spell out or explain what her meaning was…There are many strong feelings and points of view on Capitol Hill…about Title 42…It’s a decision made to lift it by the CDC…I don’t have any more to explain about the particular comments. However, we work closely together with Speaker Pelosi regarding a wide range of topics including immigration.
HEINRICH They’re not wanting, you know, Title 42 to replace an immigration effort, but they’re saying that there just is not a plan in place to support what’s going to happen when Title 42 goes away.
PSAKI: I think what I meant to say earlier was that there is a wide range of lawmakers who are concerned about the lifting ….. This is why Secretary Mayorkas has been on the Hill for, I believe, 4 hearings and answering many questions from both Democratic and Republican members. He put out a six-pillar plan on exactly how he’s going to implement it…[H]e’s happy to be on the Hill answering their questions.
Prior to Heinrich, NBC’s Kristen Welker put the Title 42 mess in plain termsPsaki then passed the buck on to the CDC “DHS announced this six-point, 20-page plan, but given that strain that DHS is anticipating, why should the American people have confidence that you’ll be able to deal with that surge of migrants if Title 42 is lifted?”
Later, Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann brought up student loan debt with one question about those who’ve paid off their debt and one about controlling the cost of higher education to stave off more financially strapped families and students in the future (click “expand”):
WEGMANN – You stated that President Obama is looking into a number of options to eliminate student loan debt. But is the President looking at any options for those students and parents who saved and sacrificed so that they wouldn’t have to take out such massive loans? Are they being considered for retroactive relief? Is there a way to make them whole?
PSAKI: It’s a good question. What I can tell you at this point is that there’s legislation he’d be happy to sign for individuals who have $10,000 in existing student debt. If Congress wanted to send that to him, he’d be happy to sign it, and he’s looking at executive actions and authorities. But I don’t have anything to preview on that front.
WEGMANN: Okay. Then, you know, if the President does move on canceling some of the student debt, isn’t that just one half of the equation though? I mean, what is he looking at in order to keep some of these public universities from jacking up tuition prices, despite some of the federal subsidies that they’ve been getting? It is impossible to keep some schools from increasing tuition fees for future generations of students. Isn’t that half of the equation?
PSAKI: I don’t know if people would consider it half of the equation. I don’t know. We’ll let Americans define it. Let me point you at the Department of Education so they can talk about what’s happening on that front.
Click here to see the transcript of April 27’s briefing.