Jen Psaki Under Fire for Press Briefing Comments

Jen Psaki Under Fire for Press Briefing Comments

( – Founded in 2003, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) works to expose government wrongdoing and reform campaign finance and ethics laws. The group has targeted all four presidential administrations that have been in power since 2003, filing dozens of lawsuits and FOIA requests during the Bush, Obama, and Trump years. Most recently, CREW targeted White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki for a possible violation of the Hatch Act, a law barring federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity while serving in their official capacity.

On October 15, CREW President Noah Bookbinder sent a letter to Special Counsel Henry Kerner requesting his office open an investigation into Jen Psaki’s remarks during a White House press briefing the previous day. A reporter asked Psaki about the upcoming Virginia gubernatorial election in November 2021.

She quickly responded she had to be “a little careful” about discussing the subject. She danced around the topic a bit but concluded her remarks about the election by stating the administration would “do everything [it] can to help former Gov. [Terry] McAuliffe,” the Democratic nominee. She also said the administration believes in the “agenda” McAuliffe represents.

CREW pointed out there was “no question” Psaki “was speaking in her official capacity” while conducting a press conference. Additionally, CREW’s letter stated similarly, there as “little doubt” Psaki’s remark was “aimed at the success or failure of a [particular] candidate” in an upcoming “partisan election.”

The letter ended, calling for the Office of Special Counsel to investigate Psaki’s remarks and “take any appropriate disciplinary action” against the press secretary.

Psaki did acknowledge her error in discussing McAuliffe’s candidacy and said she would choose her words more wisely in the future. Do you think that’s enough, or do you support CREW calling for an investigation?

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