Tale of two briefings: Jen Psaki treated much differently by press than Sean Spicer

Posted 41 days ago


CNN pundit-turned-White House press secretary Jen Psaki held her first press briefing on Wednesday and the mostly friendly questions were a stark contrast to the way media members treated the Trump administration's first event.

Psaki left CNN to take a gig as a senior adviser for the Biden-Harris transition team and was later named press secretary. The first question she faced was swiftly mocked as a "softball" on social media when Associated Press reporter Zeke Miller asked, "Do you see yourself--your primary role as promoting the interest of the president, or are you there to provide us the unvarnished truth so that we can share that with the American people?"

Trump press secretaries Sean Spicer, Sarah Sanders and Kayleigh McEnany were regularly scolded and criticized by the press over the past four years. President Trump eventually reduced the number of briefings as a result, as some reporters became heroes of the anti-Trump resistance for aggressively grilling the president’s spokespersons.

But on Wednesday, Psaki was asked about things like what color Biden would prefer Air Force One to be and how thoroughly staffers cleaned the White House prior to Inauguration Day.

"This is the normal honeymoon that tends to happen with presidents. Unfortunately for Donald Trump, they started off in divorce court with the press and they never let up for one day," American Conservative Union chair Matt Schlapp said on "The Faulkner Focus."

Reporters didn't bother to ask Psaki about a variety of hot-button issues, such as the DOJ slush fund, Keystone Pipeline and jobs affected by stopping the project, the Central American migrant caravan or the Hunter Biden probe.

Here are some of the questions Psaki faced during her first official briefing:

* "The battle for truth may be as tough a fight right now, as is the battle against coronavirus. How do you and President Biden plan to combat disinformation that in many ways led to that assault we witness two weeks ago today on the capital?"

* There was a lot of comments today about his familiarity with the Senate. How involved will he be in [the COVID-relief measures] process?

* Can you talk a little bit just about kind of the preparations for getting the--the White House ready and save for the--the president, the new president? It's been reported that you did $500,000 worth of deep cleaning. Could you talk about the measures that you took to ensure that the president is safe?

* Could you just give us some color about what it was like for him going into the Oval Office? He's been waiting for this for so long. What was his reaction?

* On President Trump's inauguration day, he filed the paperwork to run for reelection same day. Does President Biden have any plans to do that today or in the coming... (Read more)