Fox’s Hoff Makes Briefing Room Debut, Tangles With Psaki Over SCOTUS Threats

Filling in for Fox’s A-Team of Peter Doocy and Jacqui Heinrich, correspondent Alexandria Hoff joined The Psaki Show on Monday and Tuesday as Jen Psaki began her final week at the podium and Hoff made it count by joining other reporters in grilling her on the threats to Supreme Court justices due to the leaked draft opinion on abortion. 

Hoff was able to get answers from Psaki who had repeatedly given support for the intimidation and harassment of justices and their family members.

Starting with Tuesday, Hoff called out the Biden administration’s double standard when it comes to what they claimed were threats to the lives of school board members as “the Department of Justice was very swift in responding” and whether they’ll do the same toward (actual) threats to Supreme Court justices like Samuel Alito.

 

 

Psaki responded by declaring that Biden is opposed “violence, threats, and…intimidation of any kind,” Then, he went on and on about Republicans being hypocrites regarding (alleged) threats to schools, Michigan election officials, abortion-seeking women, or January 6. Psaki added that Psaki was proud of the Obama administration. “continue[s] to encourage”These intimidation and protest tactics are common.

Hoff noted this concerns “a pending court case” with a “federal law” prohibiting these protests, but Psaki wanted to make it all about Republicans (click “expand”):

HOFF: Does the President feel that the demonstrations outside of, say, Justice Alito’s home — are those attempts to interfere or intimidate?

PSAKI: Well, I think I said yesterday, but I’m happy to repeat because I think it’s important for everybody to hear, that the President’s longstanding view has been that violence, threats, and imitat- — intimidation of any kind have no place in political discourse and we believe, of course, in peaceful protest. What I do find is interesting, and I think most — many people have noted, is that there are voices on the right who have called out this — protests that are happening — while remaining silent for years on protests that have happened outside of the homes of school board members, the Michigan Secretary of State, or including threats made to women seeking repo- — reproductive healthcare, or even an insurrection against our Capitol. So I know that there’s an outrage right now, I guess, about protests that have been peaceful to date — and we certainly continue to encourage that — outside of judges’ homes.  And that’s the President’s position.  But the silence is pretty deafening about all of the other intimidation that we’ve seen to a number of people.

HOFF: The case is currently pending before the court. That’s where the federal law comes into place. The case is currently pending before the court.

PSAKI: Well, but I think that intimidation protests — and intimidation outside of the homes of school board members, the Michigan Secretary of State — you know, intimidation and threats against people seeking legal reproductive healthcare — and against our Capitol and American democracy also warrant some outrage and we haven’t really seen that.

The Washington Post’s Ashley Parker returned to that a few minutes later and wondered if the White House is “worried that abortion rights protests may turn violent.” 

Psaki defended the mental terrorizing of justices and their innocent families, boasting that “the protests…have not turned violent” and “[j]ust because people are passionate” and “fearful about their own healthcare,” “it does not mean they’re violent.” 

Parker also invoked messages left outside the home of Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and whether that’d be considered vandalism, but Psaki retreated to “the hypocrisy of the silence” From Republicans, who have, like Psaki said, refused to condemn violence against Liberals.

Hoff questioned Biden’s willingness to answer the question on Monday. “condemn the leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion or the doxing of the justices, now that we’ve seen violence unfold.”

Psaki insisted Biden has opposed threats, vandalism, and violence and took Hoff’s question as to having meant violence against justices took place when it took place elsewhere (which was what Hoff likely meant):

Violence or vandalism against Supreme Court justices has never been witnessed. This has happened in Catholic churches. That’s unacceptable.  That is not what the President supports. It has been seen at conservative organisations.  That — we don’t support that and we certainly call for — we know the passion. We feel the passion. We are sensitive to the concerns. But what the President’s position is is that that should be peaceful — the protests. Continue.

The AP led off Monday’s briefing with Will Weissert citing the Virginia law “that actually prohibits protests outside private residence, even when done peacefully,” However, Psaki defiantly hid that fact by insisting that the White House is “certainly not suggesting anyone break any laws.”

It Daily Mail’s Geoff Earle had an interesting train of thought as he posed to Psaki the possibility that the White House views the protests outside the homes of justices as “productive.” Psaki said it’s “not for me to speak to” whether they’re “productive” However, she acknowledged that such intimidation was acceptable and encouraged them. “support…people peacefully protesting” (click “expand”)

EARLE: Your condemnation of the violence was unambiguous. But as you know, there’s also some allies who are protesting outside justices’ homes, including Brett Kavanaugh, who — if there’s any kind of a compromise — conservative ruling that preserves some of Roe, he could be part of that with Roberts. So, my question is: Is it appropriate to protest outside people’s homes? Is it productive, or not?

PSAKI: Look, I would say, in terms of the productive question, that’s not for me to speak to. These justices are independent bodies that make their decisions.  It is up to me not to determine how they are affected or whether they are influenced. The peaceful demonstration of our beliefs is what we support. We do not believe in or support any intimidation of any kind — obviously, the violation or breaking of any law, as somebody raised before, or threats or intimidation of any individual. We support peaceful protests. They do it in many places.

EARLE: But you wouldn’t wave anybody off for tactical reasons?

PSAKI: We’re not here to give tactical advice to protesters. Our only request is for peaceful protest. We ask that people refrain from violence, vandalism and intimidation.

To see the relevant briefing transcripts (including a whole host of enlightening exchanges on Team Biden’s “Ultra-MAGA” smear, the economy, and more on abortion), click here (for May 9) and here (for May 10).

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