During Tuesday’s White House press briefing, the Fox News Channel’s Peter Doocy reupped his focus from Monday on the never-ending border crisis except, this time, he did battle with the National Security Council’s John Kirby who, to his credit, has a grasp of the English language. This time, the two threw down over a Supreme Court ruling Monday afternoon that will allow Customs and Border Patrol to cut razor wire in the Rio Grande that doubles as the U.S./Mexico border.
Doocy came out swinging with this reality for anyone who’s been to or seen footage from the southern border: “Why are you guys making it easier for people to enter the country illegally?”
Kirby scoffed and played dumb: “I don’t believe we are. Why do you think we are?”
The Fox correspondent pointed to the reality that “you guys sued to cut razor wire that was put in place by Texas officials” and it was only then that Kirby dropped the act by saying the regime did it so “the Border Patrol, actually, do their jobs.”
Having been invited by Kirby to “keep going,” Doocy certainly did by asking if the White House thinks they “know better than the Border Patrol union,” whose “president is saying the Supreme Court’s decision is going to undoubtedly encourage more illegal immigration.”
Kirby insisted “[t]he Border Patrol needed access, and that’s why we sued to get rid of that razor wire, so that they could do their jobs” and, additionally, Republicans should comply with the White House funding requests for more Border Patrol agents (who, in reality, wouldn’t be used to secure the border, but process more illegals).
Doocy zoomed back out with another simple question: “Does razor wire work?”
“Does razor wire work for what? Does it work for the Border Patrol to allow them to have the access they need to be able to — to better process people that are trying to get across the border? I don’t think so, and that’s why we asked for it to be removed,” he replied.
Huffing aside, Doocy asked “what is the President’s plan” for the border seeing as how, “just weeks” ago, “300,000 people came to this country, over the southern border illegally” and that was with “officials down there” saying the razor wire kept even more from crossing.
Kirby insisted he wouldn’t “filibuster,” but the opposite happened as he offered boilerplate excuses about Biden’s “day one” “immigration reform legislation”, talking to “Mexican official…about how, together, we have and we’ll continue to try to stem the flow of migrants,” and how the torrent of people coming across isn’t just happening here, but other parts of the world.
At the other end of the spectrum, The Independent’s Andrew Feinberg pushed Kirby from the left on the border, twice wondering why President Biden hasn’t “simply federalized the Texas [National] Guard and order them to cease and desist” from Governor Greg Abbott’s (R-TX) orders about setting up razor wire “rather than going to the courts and having to wait for the court process to play itself out”
To his credit, Kirby largely ducked that request and argued while “[w]e…disagree from a policy perspective,” “chain of command” is to be respected.
Before Doocy, Anita Powell of the taxpayer-funded Voice of America lobbed this insane question bemoaning how U.S. munitions going to Israel and Ukraine have contributed to climate change (click “expand”):
POWELL: Just a quick question about whether the castration includes environmental impact assessments in calculating how to support allies like Israel and Ukraine, Just for reference. We interviewed some environmental experts, who estimated that in the last 60 days U.S. supply flights to Israel contributed to 133,000 metric tons of C02 emissions. It’s a lot, right? So, is that part of the calculation that you make? And how do you balance your desire to protect the environment with your desire to protect your allies?
KIRBY: I know of no — and I’m happy to take this question. I know of no mathematical analysis that we’re conducting at an agency level to — to judge the impact of using jet fuel, for instance, to fly support to Ukraine or — or get it into the region for Israel again. I’ll take that question, but we’re focused — rightly so — on making sure that our two partners have what they need to defend themselves, and that’s really where the President’s head is.
Speaking of softballs, CNN’s Arlette Saenz had two on the Biden economy to the ever-inept Karine Jean-Pierre (click “expand”):
SAENZ: You started at the beginning talking about some of these positive economic indicators and how the mood of consumers is changing as you’re seeing some of these positive signs in the economy. But, so far, it really hasn’t changed in their perception of how President Biden has contributed to this and — and helps them. Are there discussions about different ways that you can try to communicate this message, given the fact that so far has it just sunk in with the American psyche that Biden should be getting credit in your belief?
JEAN-PIERRE: I mean, look, we’re going to just continue to have the conversation. We’re going to continue to have the President talk speak directly to the American people. You saw him do that in many different ways in the past two weeks where he has been able to address Americans at their home, right — where he’s been able to go to a business…[D]ata still matters. The fact that consumer sentiment is high in a way that we hadn’t seen it in sometime, right? The numbers show…the economy is indeed stronger than it was since the President walked in to this administration. He’s been able to create more than 14 million jobs…We’re gonna continue to have those conversations with the American people…[H]e’s not going to stop and we’re going to make sure that the American people hear directly from him, as, you know, as often as we can.
SAENZ: And is the President frustrated that Americans are feeling better about the economy, but they’re not feeling better about his role in it?
JEAN-PIERRE: I think what the President is proud to see is that the data is showing that consumer confidence is up, is that we’re able to see gas prices under three bucks in more than — two — in 27 states. That’s important. That’s what the president is happy to see. The President is — is — is happy to see that we’ve created more than 14 million jobs. That’s what we’re going to continue to work on an economy. That is that — that — that — that makes sure that we build it from the bottom up middle out, and let’s not forget we’re going to continue to lower costs for the American people. And so as long as we do that, as long as we do our job, the President does his job, then that’s what matters.
Fast-forward to the end and Hearst’s Kalyn Norwood wondered if the border is Biden’s “top priority” now seeing as how, “[i]mmigration is now the top issue for Americans over the economy over inflation… according to a new Harvard poll.”
Jean–Pierre wouldn’t say, instead pointing to the fact that presidents have “to deal with multiple issues all at once.”
To see the relevant transcript from the January 23 briefing, click here.