Two months in, the Biden administration is already failing to uphold the transparency it promised on day one.
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) March 24, 2021
“The access being granted today, for the pool, is of a facility that is aspirational of where you want to move these children,” a reporter asked, to which Psaki responded affirmatively.
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“What about access to the facilities where there is overcrowding, and there is an actual problem,” the reporter continued. “Why was this one chosen over those?”
Psaki, unsurprisingly, completely failed to answer the question and instead spoke on the administration’s process of granting media access to the facilities.
“We’re also open to providing access there, and this is just the first step in a process of providing greater access to the media,” Psaki said.
The facility the reporter referenced is the Department of Homeland Security’s facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas. The Biden administration will reportedly allow just one active camera when a group of White House correspondents visits.
As limited as access already is, NBC News reported that the administration has also essentially given border agents an “unofficial ‘gag order’” regarding the amount and detail of information which can be shared with the media.
Reportedly, Border Patrol officials are being forced to deny any and all media requests for “ride-alongs” with agents, local reporters are to send all “information queries” to the Washington press office for approval and personnel responsible for compiling data on the number of migrants in custody of federal agencies have been reminded to not leak information.
In other words, the Biden administration — under President Joe Biden — is increasingly becoming the monster of oblique and indirect government it accused the Trump administration of being.
The reporter followed up on Psaki’s non-answer, asking “when would that decision” to expand media access be made.
“You’ve said earlier this week that you would be working on access. Is this be the only access, or will that be coming …” the reporter attempted to finish as Psaki interrupted, saying, “I would consider it — it’s ongoing.”
“We wanted to provide pool coverage, as you all know who are in the television — field of television that allows for a video camera to provide access to all the networks,” Psaki continued.
“We felt that would be a good first step and we’re looking forward to continuing to engage about how to provide increased access.”
It certainly would have been a good first step, had conditions in worse facilities not already been exposed.
Axios released pictures Monday of an extremely overcrowded Customs and Border Protection tent — or soft-sided structure as the Biden administration would call it — in Donna, Texas, revealing to a degree the extent of Biden’s border crisis.
With such dehumanizing conditions, one can only wonder why the administration seems so reluctant to provide access to facilities like this one, as news outlets continue to expose the unfolding disaster.
The reporter seemingly wondered this exact question, as he asked Psaki, “Would you agree, though, that you’ve chosen the facility that is the aspirational facility, as opposed to the problem at this moment?”
The press secretary stammeringly responded, saying, “I would say we all agree that the — the border patrol facilities are not places where children should be, they are — children should be moving more quickly through those facilities. That is what our policy’s central focus is right now, as you know, Jeff.”
“And there are also — it’s also becoming a public health concern, because of the number of kids who are moving through those facilities.”
Psaki was then interrupted and asked why she wouldn’t simply share that statistic.
The press secretary scrambled to answer, “We will, and we are working with the Border Patrol, and with DHS to determine how we can do that.” She then quickly took a question from another reporter, presumably with a far less intense demeanor.
The reporter’s concern is understandable; these questions are very important and demand answers.
Psaki, in her first briefing with the White House press corps, vowed to bring “transparency and truth” back to the White House.
The administration seems to have forgotten this pledge, as representatives cannot answer the simple question of why the media is allowed access to one facility and not the other.
Biden White House press secretary Jen Psaki begins her briefing by talking about the importance of “truth and transparency” and “rebuilding trust with the American people.”
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) January 21, 2021
Instead of “trust and transparency,” the Biden administration is almost outright refusing to show the American people Biden’s crisis.
The press secretary cannot simply continue to answer questions with vague statements of future work; she needs to answer for the administration’s actions, and she needs to do so as soon as possible.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
ARTICLE SOURCE: thefederalistpapers.org