White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, rumored to soon be joining MSNBC, engaged in a heated back-and-forth with CNN+ host Chris Wallace on several topics including teaching gender identity to very young children.
“I understand that some of the supporters of the bill have used inflammatory language saying that opponents of the bill want to sexualize children or groom children,” the host of “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace” said of legislation aimed at barring teachers from talking about those subjects with kids deemed to be too young to understand them.
“On the other hand, don’t parents have a right to have concerns? I mean we’re talking specifically here about teaching about sex in Kindergarten through third grade. I have to say as a parent, I would have problems with that,” he said.’
Psaki responded by indicating that talking to kids in kindergarten through the third grade about topics that would have to be explained by, at minimum, mentioning the reproductive parts of men and women, should not be an issue.
“But the law is not about teaching sex education. It’s about teaching about, gender identity. And so what do you do if a parent or a kid, should I say a kid in one of these elementary schools says ‘what about Sally? Sally has two moms!’ Or ‘I’m not sure if I’m a girl or a boy,’” she said.
“I mean these are kids who are experiencing these moments in their lives. I also think that these are not, there’s not a big record of there being either sex education or extensive gender identity education in these schools, and this is creating a problem or a political cudgel about an issue that I don’t think exists,” she said.
JEN PSAKI: Teachers should talk with kindergarteners about if they’re “a girl or a boy.”
— RNC Research
Next, the two clashed over Wallace’s suggestion that President Joe Biden was being “sheltered” from the press, a point Psaki vehemently disagreed with.
“Why has President Biden been so sheltered from the press?” he asked.
“In what way?” Psaki fired back. “He just did a press conference several weeks ago. He takes questions from the press nearly every day.”
Wallace, however, countered with several facts.
“In his first year, Joe Biden held two solo news conferences in the White House. And he held five on foreign trips, and take a look at this, in his first year Mr. Biden sat down for twenty-eight interviews with reporters. That compares to ninety-five in the same period of time for Donald Trump, and a hundred and sixty-two for Barack Obama. By comparison, Jen that’s sheltered,” he said.
“Nearly every day at the White House, he takes questions from the White House press corps,” Psaki responded.
“Yeah but Jen –,” Wallace interrupted, as Psaki continued.
“Two questions, three questions, eight questions,” she said talking over the CNN+ host. “So why is that different?”
“I’ll tell you exactly why that’s different – because when you’re standing there, you can take a question. You can answer it, you can slough it off and you can move on,” Wallace argued.
“And oftentimes, he gives a partial answer and walks away. It in no way compares to sitting down with a reporter for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, and having — you can’t move away, you can duck it, you’ve got to sit there and answer the question and the follow-up. It’s not the same thing,” he said.
Chris Wallace asked Jen Psaki why Biden has been so sheltered from the press.
Psaki got clearly offended and Wallace actually pushed back!
— Kevin Tober ()
“We can agree to disagree on that Chris,” the press secretary added.