Fox News’ Chris Wallace accused White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki of being ‘less transparent’ than Donald Trump’s administration as he hammered on ‘Fox News Sunday’ over the weekend.
The Fox News host Chris Wallace asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on President Joe Biden’s administration’s transparency with respect to the events at the southern border of the United States on Sunday. The tense exchange showed Wallace grilling Psaki over the lack of media access to migrant facilities at the border.
Wallace told Psaki that Biden administration is being “less transparent than the Trump administration.
Host said “the only way we know how bad conditions are” at the border is because of photographs taken and released by Republican and Democratic members of Congress.
Texas Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz have posted pictures of poor conditions at border patrol facilities overwhelmed by migrants from the south. Several Congressional Democrats, including Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro and Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar are expected to visit the facilities this week.
“These kids are living in these conditions now. They’re not living in these conditions some indeterminate time from now when the president says everything will be fixed,” Wallace mentioned.
Wallace also pushed back on Psaki’s insistence during White House news briefings that the visits must be conducted safely because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Psaki answered the president is “absolutely committed” to allowing media access.
Psaki reiterated Biden’s promise he made during his first press conference as president on Thursday, that the media would be allowed into the facilities once plans to improve conditions and expand the number of facilities have been implemented.
“When?” Wallace asked.
“We want to provide access into the border patrol facilities. We are mindful of the fact that we are in the middle of a pandemic,” she said. “We want to keep these kids safe, keep the staff safe, but we are absolutely committed to transparency and providing access to media to the border patrol facilities.”
But Wallace insisted about the lack of access and how the length of time minors are being held violates the law, saying the Biden White House is “being less transparent than the Trump administration.”
Wallace also challenged Psaki on her claims that the “border remains closed” and that the administration is turning away the “majority of adults.”
According to Wallace, “You can play with percentages, but in absolute numbers, these are record numbers. There are now 18,000 unaccompanied minors in U.S. custody. There are new records being set, 500 to 800 each day,”.
Psaki replied: “The Administration’s objective is to take a different approach from the last administration. We are not going to send children under the age of 18, kids under the age of 18, back on this treacherous journey.”