Top House Republican Demands Apology After Press Sec Psaki Bombs the Space Force
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki doesn’t suffer any fools, no matter which press outlet they might represent. Answering questions from conservative outlets as well as the more mainstream media at the now-daily briefings her predecessors never held, Psaki has already gained a healthy online fan club thanks to her witty “Psaki Bombs” in response to questions that were directed to trip her up.
But not everyone is a fan of Psaki or her bombs. Representative Mike Rogers, the House Armed Services Committee’s top Republican, is calling on Psaki to “immediately apologize” for her response to a Space Force question in Tuesday’s briefing.
Psaki was asked if Biden had made any decisions on the future of the Space Force, which was established by Congress in December 2019 with support from the Trump administration.
“Wow. Space Force. It’s the plane of today,” Psaki responded, seemingly comparing the question to an earlier one about the color scheme of Air Force One. “It is an interesting question. I am happy to check with our Space Force point of contact. I’m not sure who that is. I will find out and see if we have any update on that.”
It's the plane of today" — Psaki dismisses a question about if Biden plans to keep the Space Force pic.twitter.com/cBrBj6hYUp
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 2, 2021
“It’s concerning to see the Biden administration’s press secretary blatantly diminish an entire branch of our military as the punchline of a joke, which I’m sure China would find funny,” Rep. Rogers said. “The Space Force was passed with near-unanimous support in Congress, the same type of ‘unity’ President Biden is supposedly working towards,” he continued. “Jen Psaki needs to immediately apologize to the men and women of the Space Force for this disgraceful comment.”
Congressman Michael Waltz of Florida joined Rogers in blasting Psaki’s comments on the Space Force, which he said was established to protect national security and economic space missions from Chinese threats. The service was not established to send armed personnel into orbit or to colonize the solar system. Instead, Space Force personnel, who were recently named “guardians,” operate the nation’s GPS and missile warning satellites with their boots firmly on the Earth.
Sounds as if Space Force may last about as long as his so-called National Garden of American Heroes and the gaudy red, black and white proposed Air Force One redesign. No prognosis yet for the White House “Tennis Pavilion.”
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) February 2, 2021
“This is just another example of the Biden administration not taking China seriously while demeaning the incredible work of Space Force personnel,” said Waltz, who is a founding member of the House Space Force Caucus.
Thing is, the US already had a space wing before the rebranding by the Trump admin as the “space force”. It was Air Force Space Command, had thousands of employees and service-members and dozens of bases. This was largely optics without a change to the mission. https://t.co/O4y4vSYp3L
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) February 2, 2021
A Space Force spokesperson declined to comment.