White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed President Joe Biden called reporter Peter Doocy “a stupid son of a bitch.”
The president was reportedly not aware his microphone was still live when he disparaged the Fox News reporter at the end of a January 24 press briefing. The presidential insult was included in the White House briefing room transcript.
“Will you take questions on inflation then?” Mr. Doocy asked President Biden, according to the White House transcript. “Do you think inflation is a political liability ahead of the midterms?”
“No, it’s a great asset,” Biden replied. “More inflation. What a stupid son of a bitch.”
The podcast “Pod Save America” edition released Friday featured a conversation with Ms. Psaki conducted in Washington, D.C., before an audience. Near the end of the 90-minute podcast, host Dan Pfeiffer asked Ms. Psaki about Doocy.
“We have to talk about Peter Doocy,” the host exclaimed before asking, “Is he a stupid son of a bitch, or does he play one on TV?”
“Well, um, he works for a network that provides people with questions that — nothing personal to any individual, including Peter Doocy — might make anyone sound like a stupid son of a bitch.” Politico White House Correspondent Eugene Daniels posted a video clip of that segment on his Twitter account.
Psaki then said she wanted to tell a nice Peter Doocy story, which she acknowledged might not be appreciated by some in the audience.
“The president did call him a stupid son of a bitch,” Psaki declared, “so, that happened.”
She rhetorically questioned what a press secretary can do in a situation like that. Biden’s press secretary added that the president called Doocy and apologized. Soon after, Doocy was a guest on the Sean Hannity show, hosted by the Fox network.
“I actually watched Sean Hannity to see what he said,” Psaki explained. “My mind was like really bending and hurting. There was — if you can imagine — a flame and it was like Crime! Crime! Crime! And, the vice-president is walking through the flames and crime.”
The press secretary continued by saying Mr. Hannity asked Doocy about what the president said and what he said back to Biden.
“He could have been like, ‘He’s a son of a bitch!’ or ‘I’m standing up for … whatever,'” Psaki acknowledged Doocy could have said anything.
“Instead, he said, ‘You know, he called me and we had a really nice conversation. I’m just asking my questions and he’s doing his job.”
“So, I will say, ‘that was a moment of grace,'” Psaki said. “You don’t have to like everything Peter Doocy says or does but that is certainly a moment of grace by Peter Doocy.”
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