Jen Psaki Outmaneuvers Reporter Over Derek Chauvin Question


Recently, Republicans began spiraling yet again over comments from Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who called on protesters to get more “confrontational” in the event of a not guilty verdict in the trial of ex-Minnesota cop Derek Chauvin, who was on trial over his high-profile murder of a Black man named George Floyd. Originally, Waters said that observers are “looking for a guilty verdict” in the Chauvin case, adding that if it “does not happen, then we know that we got to not only stay in the street, but we have got to fight for justice.” Characterizing a call to “fight for justice” and be “confrontational” about it as an incitement to violence seems willfully ignorant.

At a Tuesday White House press briefing, press secretary Jen Psaki responded to questioning characterizing Waters’s comments as out of line by pointing out the facts. Psaki commented as follows:

‘Well first I would say again that the Congresswoman clarified her own comments, and what I can do is speak for the president’s view, which is that it’s important to provide a space and an opportunity for peaceful protest, but protesting should be peaceful. That’s something he has consistently advocated for, and he will regardless of the trial… I would also say that when somebody provides a clarification for their comments, that’s an important context to include in anybody’s reporting.’

Check out Psaki’s comments below:

The “clarification” that Psaki referenced came in an interview with TheGrio, where Waters commented as follows:

‘I talk about confronting the justice system, confronting the policing that’s going on, I’m talking about speaking up. I’m talking about legislation. I’m talking about elected officials doing what needs to be done to control their budgets and to pass legislation. I am not worried that they’re going to continue to distort what I say. This is who they are and this is how they act. And I’m not going to be bullied by them.’

Trump, of course, has used plenty of his own virulent rhetoric, which has barely ever attracted condemnation from the majority of Republicans. He told rallygoers to “fight like hell” in D.C. on January 6, and shortly afterwards, a mob of the then-president’s supporters broke into the Capitol and murderously hunted top leaders — and most Republicans appeared ready to excuse Trump.