Psaki Admits There's a Crisis Border, Later Denies Remarks When Cornered By Reporter
White House Press Secretary walks back comments
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki referred to the U.S.-Mexico border situation as a “crisis on the border," but later backtracked her comments when a reporter reminded her what she said.
The administration has refrained from describing the border situation as a “crisis," even as some top Democrats have even started using the term.
REPORTER: So if I’m hearing you, the vaccine was given. Were there expectations set with the Mexicans that they help deal with this situation on the border?
PSAKI: The — we —
REPORTER: Was there a quid pro quo?
PSAKI: There have been ex — there have been expectations set outside of — unrelated — to any vaccine doses or request for them that they would be partners in dealing with the crisis on the border. And there have been requests, unrelated, that they — for doses of these vaccines. Every relationship has multiple layers of conversations that are happening at the same time.
🚨🚨: Jen Psaki just broke with the administration, and called it "the crisis on the border."— John Cooper (@thejcoop) March 18, 2021
Later corrected herself in another response! pic.twitter.com/I8m9ee0Pz5
A reporter later pointed out that Psaki called the situation on the border a “crisis,” to which she responded it was a “challenge” and not a crisis.
Here’s the exchange:
REPORTER: Thank you, ma’am. A couple of quick questions. When you were talking, a moment ago, about diplomatic negotiations between the United States and Mexico, you said “crisis on the border.” Is — was that a —
PSAKI: Challenges on the border.
REPORTER: Okay. But, so, that’s not — that doesn’t reflect any change in the administration’s —
REPORTER: — view of things?
When asked if there’s a border crisis, Biden's Press Secretary Jen Psaki says “nope”pic.twitter.com/BO6lHm1tLS— Tommy Pigott (@TCPigott) March 18, 2021
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas also denied the situation at the border was a crisis despite recently asking DHS staff to volunteer to help CBP at the border because of overwhelming numbers.
"Today, I activated the Volunteer Force to support Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as they face a surge in migration along the Southwest Border," Mayorkas said in an email to staff, seen by Fox News.
"You have likely seen the news about the overwhelming numbers of migrants seeking access to this country along the Southwest Border," he said.
"President Biden and I are committed to ensuring our Nation has a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system while continuing to balance all of the other critical DHS missions."
Earlier this week, an Arizona sheriff said Biden's border crisis was worse than the Obama years as the migrant surge is expected to hit a 20-year high.
Pinal Country Sheriff Mark Lamb said it was "ridiculous" that illegal immigrants are able to enter the country while schools and businesses remain closed.
"[During the Obama administration] it was like the Wild West out there in the desert on the south end of our county, and we’re back to that again," Lamb said.