‘Maybe it’s President Lincoln’s ghost’: Jen Psaki press briefing interrupted by curious creaking sounds

The phenomenon turns out to be less supernatural than feared

Justin Vallejo
New York
Tuesday 27 April 2021 23:03
Jen Psaki press briefing interrupted by curious creaking sounds

Is the White House haunted? Previous occupants, from presidents Truman and Reagan to first lady Michelle Obama and overnight guest Winston Churchill, have all reported spooky goings-on at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

There appeared to be more evidence of a supernatural explanation when Jen Psaki’s press conference on Tuesday was repeatedly interrupted by strange creaking sounds.

Glancing nervously above her, Joe Biden’s press secretary wondered aloud whether the room was being haunted by the ghost of Abraham Lincoln.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki is interrupted by ‘Abraham Lincoln’s ghost’

As she responded to questions about new guidance that vaccinated people can stop wearing masks outdoors, an elongated creaking noise suddenly sounded from over her left shoulder.

"Have no fear. The ceiling is not falling that I’m aware of… It’s an old building," Ms Psaki said.

"Maybe it’s Lincoln’s ghost. That’s quite something. Maybe it is," she joked with a reporter.

Mr Biden campaigned on placing a mask mandate across the country before implementing it on federal property when he became president.

His efforts to have the mask mandate followed by states were obstructed by what he called the "Neanderthal thinking" of some governors lifting Covid restrictions independently.

Ms Psaki had been asked about the CDC’s new guidance when the sound interjected.

About 25 minutes later in the White House’s daily briefing, the mystery returned as Ms Psaki addressed Covid vaccine scepticism.

"Engaging with the Covid team, ensuring that we are taking the right steps forward, we have a plan that’s being implemented across the country right now, a very robust…" she began before the spectre of Honest Abe seemed to loom again.

"OK, maybe it’s former President Lincoln’s ghost, I’m going to go with that."

Before leaving the briefing room Ms Psaki admitted that it was "a little spooky".

While it made for a good campfire tale among White House staff and the press corps, ghostbusters quickly found the source to be less paranormal than feared.

"Ole Abe’s ghost makes for a better story but the creaking during the WH briefing was the swivelling of a robo cam," Reuters’ White House correspondent, Steve Holland, said in a tweet.

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