CBS reporter confronts Psaki with the voice of Americans paying skyrocketing gas prices


Skyrocketing gas prices dominated the White House press briefing on Monday, with President Biden’s spokesperson Jen Psaki faulting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a “dependence on fossil fuels,” while insisting the administration is not hampering domestic production — Biden’s executive orders notwithstanding.

In addition to being grilled by Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy, Psaki was also confronted with the voices of Americans paying far too much to full their tanks as gas prices soar above $4 a gallon when CBS News White House correspondent Ed O’Keefe read aloud their concerns.

“I want to read to you — if I could, Jen — some comments from people we’ve met at gas stations today.  One woman saying, ‘I just never imagined to see the cost of gas be this high.’ Another said, ‘It’s a huge stressor to my financial situation, a huge stressor. It’s kind of like something I’m stressed about, like, during the day: Will I be able to afford gas? How much money do I have?'”

“What is the White House, what is the president’s message to Americans who are going to the gas station today and seeing prices so high?” O’Keefe then asked.

“Well, the president’s message is that he’s going to do everything we can, everything he can to reduce the impact on the American people, including the price of gas at the tank,” Psaki claimed. “What is also true is that because of the actions of President Putin, because he invaded a sovereign country, that created instability in the markets. That is something the president talked about even before Russia and President Putin moved forward with their actions.”

In noting the steps already taken, she referenced the “historic release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,” which amounts to 2-3 days usage, before adding, “And, clearly, we will continue to have conversations with large oil producers and suppliers around the world about how to mitigate the impact and consider domestic options as well.”

This being a reference to the administration appealing to Saudi Arabia to increase production, as well as initiating talks with the socialist Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro — anything, it would appear, than to ramp up U.S. production.

O’Keefe followed up to ask when will the U.S. stop buying Russian oil.

“You said, on Friday, the administration is looking at options it could take, quote, ‘right now…to cut U.S. consumption of Russian energy.’  When is a decision on that going to be made?”

As remarkable as it is that Biden continues to pur money into Vladimir Putin’s war coffers, Psaki had no answer.

“I don’t have a prediction of that for you at this point in time, but there is an active discussion,” she said.

Noting that the U.S. has has sanctions in place against Venezuela since 2019 in response to electoral fraud, O’Keefe asked in a follow up, “I hear you say we’re doing everything we can to bring down the cost of gas, but is it really worth doing business with a despot like Nicolás Maduro to drive down gas prices?”

Again, Psaki dodged the question with another serving of word salad.

“Well, first, I think that’s leaping several stages ahead in any process. There was a discussion that was had by members of the administration over the course of the last several days,” she said. “Those discussions are also ongoing.  And part of our focus is also on the health and welfare of detained U.S. citizens — while a separate process, still that is part of our engagement with them. So, at this point in time, I don’t have anything to predict.  It’s ongoing.  I just don’t have anything to convey at this point.”


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