During the White House briefing on Thursday, press secretary Jen Psaki defended the administration’s handling of COVID-19, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, passing an infrastructure bill and other issues. Psaki said, “We’re in the middle of navigating and weathering storms and dealing with crises. That’s what a president should do. That’s what an administration should do. We’re not going to shy away from that.”
- President Biden ran on a promise to use government to help people and that he would be able to wield the powers of government effectively, but we've seen on a range of issues-- whether it's the pandemic, immigration, Afghanistan-- some missteps or places where the government trying to do its best hasn't necessarily been good enough. So what do you say to a voter who might be saying, I thought Biden was going to know how to run this government, but now we're looking at a potential government shutdown in a week and a default on US debt.
JEN PSAKI: I would say that every president is elected to weather storms and navigate crises, and they come to every presidency. And if you look at all of the things that you loaded into that question, all issues that are happening, of course, currently, the president has been clear that he wanted to end a 20 year war in Afghanistan. He did exactly that. That's something I would say the American public broadly supports. We've certainly acknowledged that there are aspects, of course, of how it was handled or how all of the events transpired that were not what we had planned for.
I would say on other issues, we are doing everything we can to prevent a government shutdown and planning to prevent the impact that we've seen in the past that has been quite devastating on different components of government. We're right now in the midst of trying to get a historic package that's going to address a lot of issues the American people care about across the finish line. And making policy is messy, so we're right in the middle of that. So I would say to anyone who feels that way, we're in the middle of navigating and weathering storms and dealing with crises. That's what a president should do. That's what an administration should do. We're not going to shy away from that, and that's what people elected him to get through. Go ahead.