Jen Psaki fires back at reporter’s question over police killings: ‘Let me finish my answer’

White House Press Secretary ardently defended president’s response to gun violence

Psaki fires back at reporter's question over police killings

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki shut down a reporter who tried to interrupt her answer, after accusing President Joe Biden of not having “spoken out forcefully against” police killings.

During a briefing aboard Air Force One on Thursday, en route to New York, Washington Times White House correspondent Jeff Mordock asked the question: “We’ve had six law enforcement officers killed by criminals this year. The president has not spoken out forcefully against any of these attacks. Even some of his supporters say the lack of forceful condemnation is demoralising to police. Why hasn’t he spoken out more forcefully against these attacks?”

Ms Psaki responded: “He went and gave an entire speech to the police forces just a few months ago. He ... we have put out statements, and he has condemned the violence and the attacks on these police officers. He’s reached out to family members. He is somebody …”

Mr Mordock then interrupted Ms Psaki by asking another question in the middle of her answer.

“Let me finish my answer,” Ms Psaki fired back, “because I think that’s an inaccurate characterisation. And you haven’t even given me names of who you’re talking about.”

In New York, President Biden was planning to speak with Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams about gun violence and crime.

“Why not go to one of the officer’s funerals, if you’re going to come to New York, and show support for the law enforcement?” the reporter asked Ms Psaki.

Ms Psaki replied: “We have been planning this trip in coordination with the mayor’s office. We’ve invited a number of officials to attend the trip. He also is, as you know, going to the police headquarters to make clear his strong support for them.”

During his visit to New York, President Biden met family members of NYPD Officers Wilbert Mora and Jason Rivera, who were killed after responding to a 911 call in Harlem last month.

Gun violence has increased in New York City during the pandemic, with almost 500 murders in 2021. There are rising concerns for public safety in the city.

Three days after the killing of the police officers, Mayor Eric Adams released a plan to tackle gun violence. His plan included recreating the controversial NYPD’s plainclothes anti-crime unit, which was disbanded following Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, after being perceived by some to have used disproportionate force against Black and Latino New Yorkers.

“Gun violence is a public health crisis. There is no time to wait,” said Mayor Adams after releasing his plan.

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