The White House’s chief propagandist struggled to explain Wednesday why President Biden is constantly being contradicted by his aides on the administration’s Ukraine policy.
The president’s pattern of reckless and inflammatory comments toward nuclear-armed Russia show that he is “shooting from the shoulder,” press secretary Jen Psaki said.
Psaki says Biden “shoots from the shoulder”
A reporter had asked Psaki whether the world should assume from now on that Biden’s statements come with an “asterisk” next to them.
The journalist cited three times in recent weeks when Biden’s staff walked back comments from Biden about the war in Ukraine that escalated tensions and sowed confusion on what, exactly, the administration’s foreign policy is.
In his most dramatic provocation yet, Biden accused Vladimir Putin of “genocide” after previously calling for Putin to be overthrown and labeling him a war criminal. According to Psaki, Biden is just keeping a campaign promise to speak with candor.
“Well, when the president ran, he promised the American people he would ‘shoot from the shoulder,’ is his phrase that he often uses, and tell it to them straight,” Psaki said. “And his comments yesterday — not once but twice — and on war crimes, are an exact reflection of that.”
Really? Didn’t Biden promise steady leadership? What happened to that whole “adults in the room” thing?
Leader of the free world?
As she continued to take questions about Biden’s “genocide” remark, Psaki refused to say clearly whether the words that come out of Biden’s mouth reflect U.S. policy, or merely Biden’s “feelings.”
“I don’t — I don’t know that it’s changed policy or confused anyone,” she said.
When asked whether the White House was expecting Biden’s “genocide” comment, Psaki correctly noted that Biden, as the “leader of the free world,” is “allowed to make his views known at any point he would like.”
That is true, of course, except Biden is the president, not some pundit on Twitter. His views are policy. Otherwise, he’s not much of a president, is he?
Isn’t it a little patronizing for Biden’s handlers to be constantly dismissing his emotional outbursts as — well — just the emotional outbursts of an old man? And isn’t Psaki kind of acknowledging, without acknowledging it, that Biden isn’t the one calling the shots?