On Thursday Friday’s editions of The Psaki Show, Fox News White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich repeatedly took the outgoing White House press secretary to task over the appointment of Nina Jankowicz, a far-left Resistance fiend to run what many have deemed a real-life Ministry of Truth out of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Heinrich wrapped her Thursday Q&A by invoking the so-called “Disinformation Governance Board” that’s set to fight “misinformation ahead of the midterms” and “Hispanic communities especially.”
Then she inquired about “what this board is going to be doing” The depths of “their authority,” Psaki claimed she hadn’t “dug into this exactly”Other than state “there has been a range of disinfo out there about a range of topics — I mean, including COVID, for example, and also elections and eligibility.”
Heinrich pressed with pointed questions about past comments from Jankowicz denouncing Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter and dismissing the validity of Hunter Biden’s laptop (click “expand”):
HEINRICH: There’s been some criticism of the person who’s been chosen to oversee this board. She had previously called the Hunter Biden laptop a “Trump campaign product,” seeming to discredit its validity — or validity of reporting surrounding that. How can you assuage concerns of people who are looking at this person who’s been appointed to this position and wondering if she’s going to be able to accurately judge misinformation now that a lot of that reporting has been proven to be factual in some ways?
PSAKI: Well, I don’t have any comments on the laptop. However, I can say that this sounds like an attempt to keep disinformation and misleading information from travelling around the country through a variety of communities. I’m not sure who opposes that effort, and I don’t know who this individual is, so I have no comments on it specifically.
HEINRICH : Nina Jankowicz is her name. She also just recently made some polarizing comments about the Twitter — Elon Musk’s Twitter purchase. It’s just getting some pushback from critics who are saying this person may not be the right choice for a board that is run by the Department of Homeland Security. Do you have any thoughts on this?
PSAKI: I don’t have any information about this individual. I — I can check on more information about the board.
Heinrich ensured that Psaki was able to answer a number of questions Friday afternoon. She invited Psaki for an update and wondered how she was hired by the government if they didn’t know her previous political views.
Sure enough, Psaki was ready to circle back and rattled off Jankowicz’s professional biography, including a stop at the Wilson Center and a Fulbright (click “expand”):
HEINRICH I’m wondering if you have more information on her today. Secretary Mayorkas also stated that he wasn’t familiar with the statements she made about Hunter Biden’s laptop. And I’m just wondering, how is she hired if you and the White House are not familiar with her, Mayorkas is not familiar with her statements? Is there a process to place her in this position? Who’s in charge of her hire.
PSAKI: I’ll give you an idea of her personality. She is an expert in online disinformation. She was formerly in the Wilson Center’s Disinformation — she was formerly a disinformation fellow at the Wilson Center. She’s testified before Congress as well as the United Kingdom and European parliaments, advising Ukrainian foreign minister — particularly relevant in this moment — under the auspices of a Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship and overseeing Russian/Belarus programs at the National Democratic Institute. The Department of Homeland Security can make hiring decisions, but she is an experienced candidate. This is an extension of the work that was started at the Department of Homeland Security during the presidency of Donald Trump.
Fox’s reporter maintained the pressure on her by citing her TikTok profile, comments and one video where she accuses Trump voters and conservatives of being liars. “laundering [disinformation]”And “not support their lies with our wallet, voice, or vote.”
Psaki retorted by blaming Trump again and insisting that the true mission of the board was “protecting privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties and the First Amendment” However, you can also combat “disinformation.”
According to the future MSNBC analyst, examples of such include fighting terrorists and “misinformation…spread by human smugglers that prey on vulnerable populations attempting to migrate to the United States.”
Heinrich all the time noted it “sound[s] very worthy, but you’ve got someone in — from the Department Homeland Security telling people how they should vote,” so it’s worth considering the fact that “critics…say that doesn’t sound right.”
Of course, Psaki ducked by brushing off Jankowicz as just someone “overseeing the work of that board” conceived by Trump.
Elsewhere in the briefing, Real Clear Politics’s Philip Wegmann scorched the administration over its refusal to explain what victory in Ukraine looks like for the U.S. and if Americans should buckle up for a decades-long involvement.
Needless to say, Psaki’s meandering answers didn’t sit well with the ace reporter (click “expand”):
WEGMANN: The administration has not said how long they expect the war in Ukraine to last and that’s understandable because no one knows what —
WEGMANN: — the future holds. But the administration — and also in this room yesterday — the administration has declined to say how much the United States is prepared to spend long term or to get a real definition of what a victory in the war in Ukraine will look like. So my question is how long does President Biden — the same President who got us out of Afghanistan because he said it was a costly and unwinnable quagmire — how long does he expect the American people to back this war when they don’t know how long it will last, how much it will cost, or what the ultimate definition of victory actually is?
PSAKI: Well, I mean, let me just reiterate something the President has said from the beginning — I will get to your point.
PSAKI: I will get to your questions, I promise — that combating Russian aggression has costs, leaving it unchecked would be even more costly, allowing Russia to run rampant around Europe beyond Ukraine, which is what president Putin outlined in his speech right before he invaded, would be incredibly costly to the world and to the United States. This is what we also calculated. Right now, I know — let me — I will get there. I promise. I know you’re raising your hand. You asked me a few questions. You asked me a few questions. I will get there. Right now, the importance of this package to the President is because every day Ukrainians pay the price of freedom in their lives and he feels we providing the one arms and food is the right thing to do and trying to plan for — and I noticed some components of the package are not limited. This isn’t about how much money will be spent in the next five months. It’s just allowing the ability for us, the Ukrainians, and the Europeans to plan over the long-term. The assistance provided will not be limited to this time. The reason it’s difficult to define what winning is is because obviously, our — our view continues to be that and an ends will be through a diplomatic process and a diplomatic conversation. They will decide the final outcome, it is not up to us to make that decision.
WEGMANN: Should we be expecting a line-item appropriation to pay for military assistance for Ukraine in the next five years, 10, 15, or 15 years? This is not a closed-ended question.
PSAKI: Of course we want to see the war end as soon as possible. President Putin might do this tomorrow. Right now, what we are making a decision about, what we’re advocating for is trying to support and have the backs of an incredibly brave country and their people who are kicked out of their homes, fighting an aggressive dictator and his military, lacking food, lacking economic assistance in preventing content from rampaging through Europe, which, by the way, would be much more expensive than what we are talking about here.
WEGMANN : Then, a brief follow-up. So, the United States’s definition of success or victory in the region is contingent on how long Ukrainians are willing to combat the Russians and whether or not they want to, you know, fight them and force them to the negotiation table or push them out of, you know, their borders, that’s up to them? But we’re — we’re —
PSAKI – That’s not what I meant. Putin’s own definition of winning was taking control over Ukraine and their sovereignty. This is their territorial integrity. Obviously, he’s already failed at that, right? So, in that sense, they’re already defeating Putin’s effort to envelop them into Russia. This is an ongoing conflict, and we all know it. Diplomacy, having a conversation and negotiation are the best ways to end this war. Our effort and our focus is on strengthening them at the negotiating table and that’s the role we feel we could play.
For April 28, click here and April 29, respectively, to view the briefing transcripts. This includes questions about the economy as well as one softball question regarding Biden’s participation in the White House Correspondents Night.