White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has made a name for herself being aloof, rude and less than truthful with the press.
Many press secretaries have had similar qualities mind you, but not many have done it as brazenly as Psaki, who was called out after getting caught in a whopper of hypocrisy this week.
It started when Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked Psaki about reports that said some members of Kamala Harris staff believe her office is an abusive environment.
“Is the White House concerned that some vice presidential staffers reportedly feel like they work in an ‘abusive environment’?” Doocy said.
“I try not to speak to or engage on anonymous reports or anonymous sources,” Psaki responded.
“The Vice President is an incredibly important partner to the President of the United States. She has a challenging job, a hard job, and she has a great supportive team of people around her,” she said.
Oh really? Because senior White House correspondent for Bloomberg News, Jennifer Jacobs, called her on her hypocrisy.
“’I try not to speak to or engage on anonymous reports or anonymous sources,’ says @PressSec Jen Psaki, whose team regularly organizes anonymous briefings on topics in the news,” she said.
An obviously agitated Psaki responded to the tweet with one of her own, saying, “I think everyone knows the difference between attacking someone as an anonymous source and providing details on a policy announcement to reporters in an effort to provide information and answer media questions.”
The New York Times’ White House correspondent, Peter Baker, got into the fray and pressed Psaki some more.
“Point taken. And this is true with every White House,” he said. “But with all respect, why should ‘providing details on a policy announcement’ be done anonymously in a transparent and open democratic society?”
But it is tough to blame Psaki for wanting to avoid the question after Harris and the top members of her staff were excoriated.
People inside Kamala Harris’ office have described an office that is in chaos and her decision to finally visit the United States and Mexico border had blindsided some.
Her aides and supporters were texting each other for days about the political repercussions of the potential trip when suddenly the trip was announced, Politico reported.
The handling of the border visit was the latest chaotic moment for a staff that’s quickly become mired in them. Harris’ team is experiencing low morale, porous lines of communication and diminished trust among aides and senior officials. Much of the frustration internally is directed at Tina Flournoy, Harris’ chief of staff, a veteran of Democratic politics who began working for her earlier this year.
In interviews, 22 current and former vice presidential aides, administration officials and associates of Harris and Biden described a tense and at times douroffice atmosphere. Aides and allies said Flournoy, in an apparent effort to protect Harris,has instead created an insular environment where ideas are ignored or met with harsh dismissals and decisions are dragged out. Often, they said, she refuses to take responsibility for delicate issues and blames staffers for the negative results that ensue.
While much of the ire is aimed at Harris’ chief, two administration officials said the VP herself also bears responsibility for the way her office is run. “It all starts at the top,” said one of the administration officials, who like others requested anonymity to be able to speak candidly about a sensitive matter.
“People are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment,” a person that Politico claims knows how her office works, said. “It’s not a healthy environment and people often feel mistreated. It’s not a place where people feel supported but a place where people feel treated like s—.”
The report said that members of Joe Biden’s staff have noticed and are concerned about how members of Harris’ team are treated.