Statement Analysis®

Why are there many Obama officials now working in the Biden administration?

This month, reporter Emerald Robinson from Newmax asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki about the officials working in the Biden administration.

"Given the number of former Obama administration officials that are now in this Biden administration, and the president's relatively light schedule, there’s a growing perception that this is really just the third term of President Obama. What do you say to people who say that?

Psaki responded by asking, "Who's saying that?"

Psaki answered the reporter's question with a question. This means she was asked a sensitive question. Psaki used this ploy to avoid answering the question. Psaki supporters, such as Walter Einenkel with the Daily Kos, claim Psaki is not going to dignify questions that involve fake news. That President Trump would use phrases like, "Some people are saying," or "Lots of people are saying." The problem is, it is a fact there are a lot of Obama officials who are now working in the Biden White house. How many people are asking about that? I don't know. However, Psaki could have answered the question. She could have said, "That's not true" or "Every administration hires former officials."

This is not a one-time incident of answering a question with a question. In March 2021, we saw the same thing when Fox News asked her, "FOX is the only member of the five network TV pool that has never been on the list in front of the President. And I'm just curious if that is official administration policy?"

Psaki responded by saying,

"We're here having a conversation, aren't we? And do I take questions from you every time we come to the briefing room?"

Unless reporters start to demand she answer the specific question, I got a feeling you are going to see Psaki sidestepping any question she does not want to answer.

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