President Joe Biden’s administration is “less transparent” than the one that preceded them. Fox News' Chris Wallace called out White House press secretary Jen Psaki and criticized the White House’s media policies on the border crisis coverage. “At this point, in allowing access to border patrol facilities for reporters, you are being less transparent than the Trump administration,” Wallace said.
Less Transparent Than Trump
Despite a report that Biden Homeland Security officials prevented spokespersons and top agents to prevent them from speaking with the press, Psaki insisted they allowed the media full access. “The Trump administration was turning away kids at the border and sending them back on the treacherous journey, or they were ripping kids from the arms of their parents. We're not doing that. We are committed to allowing cameras into the border patrol facilities, absolutely,” Psaki said.
Speaking on Fox News Sunday, Psaki said safety was the main concern. “Just last week we had a pool camera providing footage to Fox News just last week into the shelters. We want to provide access to the Border Patrol facilities. We are mindful of the fact that we are in the middle of a pandemic,” she said. Psaki said safety remains important. “We want to keep these kids safe. We are absolutely committed to transparency and providing access to media … and we're working to get that done as soon as we can,” she added.
Biden Doesn’t Know
Wallace begged to differ, noting that promising transparency and what’s actually happening are different. “The president and you have both been in pains over these first two months to talk about how to pledge that you’re going to be transparent with the American people. But here’s what he said in his news conference about allowing reporters in to see specifically the facilities that are being run by Customs and Border Patrol,” he told Psaki.
Then, Wallace pointed to remarks made by Biden during his press conference last week. The President said the media will have “full access to everything” after they get things moving. But, when asked when that will happen, Biden said he didn’t know.
Surge Numbers Are The Same
Meanwhile, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield sparred with ABC's Jonathan Karl on Sunday. Bedingfield told Karl that the surge of unaccompanied minors follows the pattern of previous surges experienced before. “What we see from the data is that these surges are cyclical, they're cyclical, they're not the result of one administration's policies or another administration's policies, the result of, for example, weather disasters in the region. They're the result of people fleeing poverty and violence,” Bedingfield said. She added that the surge currently happening is the same in 2019 when Trump was president.
However, Karl saw it differently. “There is something different here, and that is the unaccompanied minors, and we already have a record number of unaccompanied minors in U.S. custody. And in just a single day last week, there were 1,000 additional minors who were brought into U.S. custody coming across the border. The seasonal surge you're talking about is only just beginning. … This is not the same as it's been. This is worse, is it not?” Karl said. Bedingfield denied Karl’s assertion. “It is the same. These are the same kinds of surges that we've seen,” she said.
Also, Bedingfield said that policy hasn’t changed. “It's also important to be clear that our policy hasn't changed. The vast majority of people who arrive at our border, we're turning away under Title 42, under a health code that requires us to or allows us to, turn people away in this period of Covid. So people should understand that the vast majority of people who show up at our border, we're turning away,” she continued.
Bedingfield added that the administration wants to address the root causes of such migration. This includes aligning with places like Boys & Girls Clubs in northern triangle countries that allow children a safe place to stay. Thursday, Biden appointed Vice President Kamala Harris to oversee the border crisis. “When she speaks, she speaks for me,” Biden said Thursday.
Watch the Fox News video reporting that Press Secretary Jen Psaki says migrant children are fleeing economic circumstances and ‘hurricanes':
Do you agree that the Biden administration comes out as less transparent compared to the Trump administration regarding border policies? Let us know what you think about the differences. Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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