Chris Wallace Blisters Jen Psaki: ‘As A Parent, I Would Have A Problem With That’


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who has been reported to be joining MSNBC, clashed with CNN+ host Chris Wallace on the topic of teaching gender identity to kids.

She appeared on “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace” on CNN’s new streaming service, where there was more than one tense moment between them.

The first happened when Wallace broached the subject of gender identity and sexual orientation being taught to young children.

“I understand that some of the supporters of the bill have used inflammatory language saying that opponents of the bill want to sexualize children or groom children,” he said of the bills to stop teachers from talking about these topics with kids who are deemed too young.

“On the other hand, don’t parents have a right to have concerns? I mean we’re talking specifically here about teaching about sex in Kindergarten through third grade. I have to say as a parent, I would have problems with that,” he said.

The press secretary responded by apparently suggesting that talking to kids in kindergarten – third grade about topics that would have to be explained by, at minimum, mentioning the reproductive parts of men and women, was OK.


“But the law is not about teaching sex education. It’s about teaching about, gender identity. And so what do you do if a parent or a kid, should I say a kid in one of these elementary schools says ‘what about Sally? Sally has two moms!’ Or ‘I’m not sure if I’m a girl or a boy,’” she said.

“I mean these are kids who are experiencing these moments in their lives. I also think that these are not, there’s not a big record of there being either sex education or extensive gender identity education in these schools, and this is creating a problem or a political cudgel about an issue that I don’t think exists,” she said.

The next confrontation came when Wallace asked Psaki about President Joe Biden being sheltered from taking questions from the press.

“Why has President Biden been so sheltered from the press?” he said to her in Wednesday’s interview.

“In what way?” she snapped back. “He just did a press conference several weeks ago. He takes questions from the press nearly every day.”

But Wallace had his facts prepared.


“In his first year, Joe Biden held two solo news conferences in the White House. And he held five on foreign trips, and take a look at this, in his first year Mr. Biden sat down for twenty-eight interviews with reporters. That compares to ninety-five in the same period of time for Donald Trump, and a hundred and sixty-two for Barack Obama. By comparison, Jen that’s sheltered,” he said.

“Nearly every day at the White House, he takes questions from the White House press corps,” she began defending.

“Yeah but Jen –,” Wallace interrupted but Psaki continued.

“Two questions three questions eight questions,” she said talking over the CNN+ host. “So why is that different?”

“I’ll tell you exactly why that’s different because when you’re standing there, you can take a question. You can answer it, you can slough it off and you can move on,” Wallace argued.

“And oftentimes, he gives a partial answer and walks away. It in no way compares to sitting down with a reporter for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, and having — you can’t move away, you can duck it, you’ve got to sit there and answer the question and the follow-up. It’s not the same thing,” he said.

“We can agree to disagree on that Chris,” the press secretary said, sounding defeated.

“I think how he has felt engaging with the press makes sense to him or works, is how he used to do it in the Senate. Which was to talk to reporters after he did events. Take their questions, often times he takes multiple questions. Sometimes there are follow-ups. He’s done that two or three times more than his predecessors and I think for most of the White House reporters that gives them an opportunity to ask questions often a couple times a week,” she said.

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