White House press secretary Jen Psaki seems to be following a predictable pattern in her responses to certain questions from reporters.
When asked about the Russian invasion of Ukraine or on questions in the last few months pertaining to U.S. elections and so-called voting rights legislation, Psaki’s go-to seems to be to invoke “history books” and people being on the wrong “side of history.”
“The rhetoric is reminiscent of former President Obama,” Fox News noted, “who frequently castigated opponents as being on ‘the wrong side of history.'”
Earlier this year, in criticism of Republicans and concerns about the 2020 election, Psaki invoked the history language in an interview with NBC News correspondent Kristen Welker.
“We’re talking about some Republicans in Congress, not all, many, far too many, who in our view and the president’s view, need to take a look at themselves and think about what role they want to play in the history books,” she said when asked about the “sharp partisan divide” in the nation.
“When their children and grandchildren look at the history books, do they want to be perpetuating the big lie?” Psaki asked.
PSAKI: “When their children and grandchildren look at the history books, do they want to be perpetuating the big lie? Do they want to be walking like silent lemmings behind the former president, who fomented an insurrection? Or do they want to be part of saving our democracy?” pic.twitter.com/p4tlRFswLC
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) January 6, 2022
Also in January, Psaki said members of Congress need to take a “hard look” at where they want to be “at this moment in history,” amid the Democrats’ push to federalize elections. On January 13, she said lawmakers could vote and determine “what side of history they want to be on.”
Even President Joe Biden echoed the rhetoric in his divisive January speech in Georgia in which he claimed senators would be “judged by history” on how they chose to vote on the bills.
Psaki has also invoked history books in her responses to questions on other nations amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, providing answers that, at times, seem identical.
Last week, Psaki was asked during a press briefing why Biden was “not making specific requests of China” after the president spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping about Russia’s actions.
“Because China has to make a decision for themselves about where they want to stand and how they want the history books to look at them and view their actions,” Psaki replied.
ABC’s @MaryKBruce: Biden “was…making clear the implications of certain actions, but [he] was not making specific requests of China. Why not?”
Psaki: “B/c China has to make a decision…about where they want to stand, & how they want the history book to look at them” pic.twitter.com/a2kWdI15zV
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) March 18, 2022
This followed comments she had made the day before when discussing the relationship between China and Russia, noting that other nations need to address the question of “where you want to be as the history books are written.”
Last week, the press secretary was asked specifically about Russia’s offer to provide oil to India at a reduced cost.
“[T]hink about where you want to stand when the history books are written in this moment in time, and support for the Russian leadership is support for an invasion that obviously is having a devastating impact,” Psaki responded.
I knew this sounded familiar: https://t.co/qsToA8zDNH
— Noam Blum (@neontaster) March 18, 2022
Last month, Psaki said that “every country” should be thinking about “what side of history” they want to be on as Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. She also told MSNBC that “This is really a moment for every country to decide what part of history they want to stand on.
In the same interview with Jonathan Capehart, Psaki said Chinese leaders should “assess where they want to stand as the history books are written.”
WH Press Sec. Psaki says Pres. Biden has not spoken with Pres. Xi, following invasion of Ukraine, adding:
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) February 27, 2022
Fox News provided a montage of Psaki’s repetitive language which has been catching attention on Twitter as users weighed in on the “history looks” she has repeatedly alluded to.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 22, 2022
@PressSec you are already on the wrong side of history.
— Steven_Sloan (@Steven_W_Sloan) March 22, 2022
— Andy Head (@AndyHead2) March 21, 2022
So true. How many times has Psaki made the “right side of history” argument?
— goon (@driprespecter) March 19, 2022
The history books again. Always the history books.
— Rebeccah Heinrichs (@RLHeinrichs) March 18, 2022
Does this administration actually think country’s care about anything other than their current interests?
“On the right side of history”, “how they look in history books”. That’s all utter fucking nonsense and just not how global diplomacy works.
— Jon Smith (@JonSmit51607212) March 18, 2022
This was a big Obama thing. Makes me wonder…
— Results over intent. (@FreeToChooseMF) March 19, 2022
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