On January 25th, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki dismissed concerns about the Biden administration’s supposed “soft on crime” policies. Discussing what was currently on various mainstream media channels during a segment on “Pod Save America,” Psaki was critical of Fox, which was currently featuring Fox News personality Jeanie Pirro discussing the consequences of the Biden administration’s, and more broadly the Democratic Party’s, mishandling of the ongoing national crime wave. She negatively compared this to CNN, which was reporting on Biden’s potential movement of American troops to Eastern Europe, and CNBC, which, as usual, was discussing the market.
Psaki said “on Fox is Jeanine Pirro taking about ‘soft-on-crime consequences,’ I mean, what does that even mean, right? So, there’s just an alternate universe on some coverage. What’s scary about it is, a lot of people watch that.”
The National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, Patrick Yoes, was not having that. He criticized Psaki in a statement, saying that she, “may feel safe in the White House, one of the most protected buildings in the United States, but not everyone feels safe in their workplace. The world we find ourselves in is dangerous and is becoming increasingly more so. Tens of thousands of people have been the victims of crime this month alone and some of them never made it back home.”
Yoes added “There are many reasons for this escalating violence in many of our communities, and one of them is agenda-driven prosecutors who have gone rogue. Many of them are refusing to bring charges against so-called ‘low-level’ or ‘nonviolent’ offenders. Under their leadership, which has been abhorrent in many cases, many violent offenders don’t stay in jail—they’re back on the streets and free to commit more crimes. That is the universe in which I, and millions of Americans, live in. Pretending violent crimes are part of some other reality will not help victims, Ms. Psaki owes them an apology.”
Psaki hit back against these accusations in a press conference Monday, saying “I encourage anyone to listen to the full context of the interview in the conversation. What I was speaking to was a chyron on Fox News… which suggested this administration is soft on crime with no basis.”
Psaki then went on to argue that the Biden Administration is serious about combating crime, citing funding increases for Law Enforcement in various Democratic spending bills over the past year. “There was additional funding to support [Community Oriented Policing Services] programs, something that every single Republican voted against. I said in that interview that I know they don’t like you when we call that out. I’m gonna keep calling that out, because that’s a fact. Also, President Biden has proposed a significant increase in funding for local COPS programs in his budget, more than the prior president. That’s a fact. So if those facts are uncomfortable, I’m sorry for people who feel they need to be critical, but the president has been a longtime advocate of addressing crime.”
Biden has “never been for defunding the police.” Psaki added.