Not Firing Cops Helps With Crime

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had to remind Fox News’ Peter Doocy that not firing cops is at least tangentially related to crim...


White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had to remind Fox News’ Peter Doocy that not firing cops is at least tangentially related to crime during an absurd exchange in which Doocy nakedly lawyered for Republicans who repeatedly voted down funding for local law enforcement.

At issue was a Fox News Sunday interview in which White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told Chris Wallace that it was Republicans who “defunded the police,” explaining that “When we were in Congress last year trying to pass … an emergency relief plan for cities that were cash-strapped and laying off police and firefighters, it was the Republicans who objected to it. And in fact, they didn’t get funding until the American Rescue Plan, which our plan allowed state and local governments to replenish their police departments and do the other things that are needed.”

At Monday’s White House briefing, Doocy went full-on defense attorney for congressional Republicans, making the absurd argument that nobody told Republicans that money for cops could be used to stop crime, and went back at counselor Psaki three times:

Doocy: Something one of the advisors said this weekend — Cedric Richmond — he said, “Republicans defunded the police by not supporting the American Rescue Plan.” But how is it that that is an argument to be made when the President never mentioned needing money for police to stop a crime wave when he was selling the American Rescue Plan?

Psaki: Well, the President did mention that the American Rescue Plan, they’ll — the state and local funding — something that was supported by the President, a lot of Democrats who supported and voted for the bill — could help ensure local cops were kept on the beat in communities across the country. As you know, it didn’t receive a single Republican vote. That funding has been used to keep cops on the beat.

Doocy: But at the time, that was sold as: These local police departments might have a pandemic-related budget shortfall — not, “We need to keep cops on the beat because there’s a crime wave.”

Psaki: I think that any local department would argue that keeping cops on the beat to keep communities safe when they had to, because of budget shortfalls, fire police is something that helps them address —

Doocy: Yes.

Psaki: — crime in their local communities.

Doocy: But those are the local communities. The White House’s argument was: The American Rescue Plan is going to be $1,400 checks. It’s going to be vaccines, vaccinators. We’re — it’s going to put us on the path to beating the virus, not —

Psaki: It did those things as well. It was a pretty good bill and piece of legislation.

It’s hard to call this a #PsakiBomb, as the kids say, because Doocy basically blew himself up. But the exchange was — stunning isn’t quite the word, perhaps telling? Let’s go with minimally remarkable — minimally remarkable for the way Doocy completely shed the hard news cloak that Fox White House reporters haphazardly drape themselves with (things like the border “crisis” or Trump’s impeachment at least have a policy underpinning) and just went for it in a purely partisan defense. And honestly, it’s a little stunning that he did it this badly.

Aside from the ridiculous premise, what Richmond said isn’t even the slightest bit new. Then-future President Joe Biden made the identical point during the presidential campaign when Trump falsely tried to attack him as supporting the Defund the Police movement — an attack that was debunked to Trump’s face by a guy Doocy might have heard of: Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace.

Watch above via C-Span.

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Not Firing Cops Helps With Crime
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