White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has posted a clarification on Twitter after a remark about Fox News reporter Peter Doocy.
Ms Psaki said that the questions provided to Fox News reporter Peter Doocy from his network make him “sound like a stupid son of a b****”.
The remark was made during a taping of the podcast, Pod Save Americawhen Ms Psaki was asked if Mr Doocy was a “stupid son of a b****” – or if he just acted like one on TV while sparring with the press secretary.
“He works for a network that provides people with questions that, nothing personal to any individual including Peter Doocy, but might make anyone sound like a stupid son of a b****,” she said.
Ms Psaki took to Twitter on Friday to offer a clarification about her remark. She tweeted: “Full video shows I also told a story about Peter’s grace last night and made very clear I was not being critical of him or any reporter at Fox, and instead was critical of the slant of some Fox topics. He is doing his job. I am doing mine. We debate. We disagree. I respect that.”
The network defended its correspondent, saying that “in his role as White House correspondent, Peter Doocy’s job is to elicit truth from power for the American public”.
“His questions are his own, he is a terrific reporter and we are extremely proud of his work,” a spokesperson told The Independent.
President Joe Biden was caught on a hot mic in January calling Mr Doocy a “stupid son of a b****” after he asked a question about inflation.
“Can I tell a nice Peter Doocy story?” Ms Psaki asked the podcast hosts and went on to say that Mr Biden called Mr Doocy to apologise, adding that the correspondent was asked about the call on Sean Hannity’s Fox News programme that evening.
“So he went on TV that night and I actually watched Sean Hannity to see what he said. My mind was like really bending and hurting,” Ms Psaki said.
“If you can imagine, it was like flames and it was like ‘Crime! Crime! Crime!’ and Kamala, the vice president is like walking through the flames and crime. I don’t even know what was happening,” she added, describing Fox’s broadcast.
“But Sean Hannity asked him about what the president had said and what he said back. And he could have been like, ‘he’s a son of a b****’or ‘I’m standing up for …’ whatever, he could have said anything. And instead, he said, you know ‘he called me, we had a really nice conversation, I’m just asking my questions, he’s doing his job’,” Ms Psaki said.
“So I will say, that was a moment of grace, you don’t have to like everything Peter Doocy says or does, but that was certainly a moment of grace by Peter Doocy,” she added.
Former Fox News White House correspondent John Roberts tweeted: “Note to Press Sec: Peter Doocy makes the decisions on what topics he wants to quiz you on, and develops the questions himself. His philosophy is a basic tenet of journalism. Comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable. If that makes all of us ‘stupid s.o.b.s’, so be it”.
Ms Psaki also said that Mr Biden wouldn’t be travelling to Ukraine despite telling reporters earlier that he would be willing to go.
“He’s ready for anything, the man likes a fast car, some aviators, he’s ready to go to Ukraine,” she said, but added that “we are not sending the president to Ukraine”.
Speaking about the British Prime Minister’s recent Kyiv visit, she said: “What Boris Johnson did is he took, I believe, an eight-hour train through a war zone to get to the middle of Ukraine”.
“So, no that is not in the plans for the president of the United States,” she said. “We should all maybe be relieved about that. He’s got a few other things to do.”
It’s been reported that Ms Psaki has been in talks to join MSNBC once she leaves the White House.
“I will not be there forever. That is what I can confer,” she said. “I am not trying to be talking point-y in saying this is the best job I’ve ever had. It’s amazing in so many ways.”