As a surge in violence swept the country, White House press secretary Jen Psaki mocked media outlets that covered the effects of ‘soft on crime’ policies, saying some coverage comes from “an alternate universe.”
Having appeared on the Pod Save America podcast last week, Psaki spoke about a Fox News segment in which she questioned what ‘soft-on-crime’ was and argued that Americans care ‘more about what’s happening in their lives than what’s necessarily happening in every cable news chyron.’
Psaki laughed off concerns despite a 510 percent increase in carjackings over the last year, 24 police officers being shot in January alone, and widespread criticism of Democratic DAs like New York’s Alvin Bragg who are softening their stance on criminals.
During the same time CNN and MSNBC focused on the Ukraine-Russia crisis, she said, ‘On Fox is Jeanine Pirro talking about soft-on-crime consequences, I mean, what does that even mean?’
‘There’s an alternate universe on some coverage,’ Psaki claimed. ‘What’s scary about it is a lot of people watch that. They think that the president isn’t doing anything to address people’s safety in New York and that couldn’t be further from the truth.’
Psaki responded by suggesting that Americans care more about ‘what’s happening in their lives’ than crime spikes.
‘People care more about what’s happening in their lives than what’s necessarily happening in every cable news chyron every day,’ she added.
Psaki served as the deputy press secretary and deputy communications director for former President Obama. All four hosts of the podcast are former Obama aides.
Jen Psaki mocks people discussing the “consequences” of “soft-on-crime” policies: “What does that even mean?” pic.twitter.com/C1KEnXVIQI
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 31, 2022
In 2021, there were at least 16 major cities across America that set records for homicides.
Data compiled by the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive shows that 24 police officers across America were shot in January, as opposed to 17 in January 2020 and January 2021.
Congressman Andy Biggs noted on Twitter that Psaki’s remarks were “completely out of touch.”
‘It means because of Democratic policies like bail reform and defunding the police, there has been a record spike in murders,’ Senator Tom Cotton said while quoting the press secretary.
Stephen Miller, a former Trump adviser, called the clip ‘appalling.’
‘A truly appalling video. Psaki laughingly mocks those concerned over “soft-on-crime consequences,” as living in an “alternate universe. “What does that even mean?” Psaki laments. Perhaps she should start by asking the NYPD heroes who lined 5th Avenue to honor their slain comrade.’
House Republicans were also enraged by Psaki’s remarks.
‘As violent crime continues to surge across America, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki mocks Americans discussing the “consequences” of Democrats’“soft-on-crime” policies.’
‘“What does that even mean?” – Psaki said while holding back laughter,’ a tweet from the House Republicans’ account read.
On Monday, Psaki was asked about her comments in her daily briefing, to which she responded: ‘What I was speaking to was a chyron on Fox News, since you raised it, that suggested this administration is soft on crime with no basis.’
‘In the American Rescue Plan there was additional funding to support local cops programs, something that every single Republican voted against,’ she added. ‘President Biden has proposed a significant increase in local cops programs in his budget more than the prior president.’
‘The president has been a longtime advocate of decreasing crime he has never been for defunding police.’
Biden is traveling to New York City to meet with Mayor Eric Adams about gun crime next Thursday.
Biden plans to discuss during his Feb. 3 meeting his administration’s ‘comprehensive strategy’ to fight gun crime, which includes increased funding for cities and states so they can hire more police and pay for initiatives aimed at preventing and intervening in community violence.
Additionally, the White House said that federal law enforcement would be strengthened against gun traffickers.
The visit comes shortly after two police officers were killed in a shooting. There were thousands of officers lining Fifth Avenue on a snowy Friday morning for the funeral of Officer Jason Rivera, and even Gov. Kathy Hochul flew in from Albany to attend. Also present on the day was Senator Chuck Schumer and Adams gave a eulogy.
In her eulogy, Rivera’s widow Dominique addressed Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and lamented: ‘This system continues to fail us. We are not safe anymore, not even the members of the service.’
‘I know you were tired of these laws, especially the ones from the new DA. I hope he’s watching you speak through me right now.
‘I’m sure all of our blue family is tired, too. But I promise, we promise, that your death won’t be in vain.’
On taking office, Bragg announced the end of prosecution for crimes such as marijuana misdemeanors, prostitution, resisting arrest, and fare-dodging.
Bragg has instructed prosecutors to place an end to seeking prison sentences for crimes except for homicide, assaults resulting in grave bodily damage, domestic violence felonies, sex offenses, criminal corruption, and ‘major economic crimes.’
When appropriate, he instructed prosecutors to reduce felonies to misdemeanors. An individual who would have been found guilty of armed robbery of a store could instead be found guilty of petit larceny, a misdemeanor if no one was seriously injured and there was no ‘genuine risk of physical harm.’.