One of the most vital jobs in the White House — and let’s be honest, there are many — is the role of Press Secretary. The person in this position essentially serves as the spokesperson for the current administration. We’ve seen a number of press secretaries through the years who’ve caved under the pressures of fielding questions and sharing fact-based responses and honest rebuttals to challenges. As we near President Joe Biden’s first year in office, his administration’s press secretary Jen Psaki has continued to show poise and eloquence under pressure, and we’ve gathered five of our favorite moments from her press briefings.
During her time as White House Press Secretary thus far, Psaki has offered many mic drop-able moments. From defending members of the Biden administration to defending the reputation and rights of the American people, Psaki has issued sound responses to queries across the board with some impressively snappy sound bites. Let’s go through some of our favorite Psaki press briefing moments below.
A version of this article was originally published November 2021.
Jen Psaki Defends Pete Buttigieg’s Parental Leave
During his term as United States Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg and his husband Chasten Glezman welcomed fraternal twins in August 2021. Like any new parent should be, Buttigieg was offered the time to spend as many moments as possible with his newborns as he acclimated to his new role as a father. When Buttigieg’s paternity leave was called into question, Psaki shared that the Secretary of Transportation had been balancing work and his new family, while reminding everyone that parental leave should be offered to new parents.
Mic Drop Moment: “I think what you’re getting at here is this question about whether men, parents, women should have paternity and maternity leave and the answer is absolutely yes. In our view that is the policy of the administration, that is what we’re pressing to make law.”
Jen Psaki Reminds Reporters The American People ‘Do Care’ Who Tells Them to Mask-Up
When Fox News Reporter Peter Doocy inferred that the American people “don’t care who tells them to wear a mask,” Psaki quickly responded that the public “should care” where they are receiving the necessary, fact-based information to keep them safe during the pandemic.
Mic Drop Moment: “I think most Americans actually do care.”
Jen Psaki’s Response to Florida Governor’s School Mask Policy
During another press briefing, Florida Governor DeSantis’ plan to withhold funds from Florida schools who would not permit parents to have their kids opt out of wearing masks in the classroom became the topic of another question. When asked if parents should have the right to determine if their kids should or should not wear masks to school, Psaki responded not only with her own personal experience as a mom of two young children, but also as a representative for the Biden Administration, merging two very important roles in her life. Not only that, she reiterated the importance of having kids in school and keeping them safe as they learn and socialize as safely as possible amidst a pandemic.
Mic Drop Moment: “I want public health officials to make decisions about how to keep my kids safe, not politicians.”
Jen Psaki Defends a Woman’s Right To Choose
President Biden’s Catholic faith and belief that a woman has the right to make decisions about her own body was called into question during this press brief, until Psaki offered a firm rebuttal. The Press Secretary reiterated that the president “believes it’s a woman’s right; it’s a woman’s body, and it’s her choice.” Doubling down on her words, Psaki pointed out the the person asking the question “never faced those choices, nor have you ever been pregnant. But for women out there who’ve faced those choices, this is an incredibly difficult thing. The President believes that right should be respected.”
Mic Drop Moment: “I think we have to move on. You’ve had plenty of time today.”
Jen Psaki Reminds Reporters That “Trans Rights are Human Rights”
As a reporter asked a (slightly confusing) question regarding the president’s stance on trans girls participating in high school sports, Psaki reiterated the Biden Administration’s view on the rights of the trans community. “The president’s belief is that trans rights are human rights. And that’s why he signed that executive order [Executive Order 13988, Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation, signed January 2021].”
Mic Drop Moment: “The president’s belief is that trans rights are human rights.”
Jen Psaki Gives Straight Facts About Vaccines
Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy decided to challenge Paski about the effectiveness of vaccines by reminding her that they were both “triple-vaxxed” and “still got COVID.” He asked, “Why is the president still referring to this as a ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated?’” Well, sit right down, sir, because she has the scientific facts ready to serve you. She shared that unvaccinated patients are “17 times more likely to go to the hospital” than vaccinated people and “20 times more likely to die.”
Mic Drop Moment: “So yes, the impact for people who are unvaccinated is far more dire than those who are vaccinated.”
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