White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that the questions posed by Peter Doocy, the Fox News correspondent who serves as her regular briefing room foil, are fed to him by his network.
She suggested that those questions make Doocy come off as a “stupid son of a bitch,” a reference to President Joe Biden’s hot-mic remark from an exchange with the Fox News reporter earlier this year. Psaki offered no evidence to support her claim about the provenance of Doocy’s questions.
The remark from the White House’s top spokesperson came toward the conclusion of her on-stage interview with “Pod Save America,” when podcast co-host Dan Pfeiffer slipped in a question about Doocy.
“Is he a stupid son of a bitch, or does he just play a stupid son of a bitch on TV?” Pfeiffer asked.
The live audience laughed, and Psaki paused before answering the question about the reporter who’s known for needling the president and his sparring with the press secretary in the briefing room.
“Well, he works for a network that provides people with questions that — nothing person to any individual, including Peter Doocy — but might make anyone sound like a stupid son of a bitch,” Psaki said.
A Fox News spokesperson, in an emailed statement, said the network does not feed Doocy questions.
“In his role as White House correspondent, Peter Doocy’s job is to elicit truth from power for the American public,” the spokesperson said. “His questions are his own, he is a terrific reporter, and we are extremely proud of his work.”
Fox News anchor John Roberts, who preceded Doocy as the network’s White House correspondent, also came to his colleague’s defense.
“Note to @PressSec. @pdoocy makes the decisions on what topics he wants to quiz you on, and develops the questions himself,” Roberts wrote on Twitter. “His philosophy is a basic tenet of journalism. Comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable. If that makes all of us ‘stupid s.o.b.s’, so be it.”
Psaki, who is expected to leave the White House in the coming weeks for a job at MSNBC, then said she’d like tell a “nice Doocy story,” noting that it wouldn’t be popular with the left-leaning audience at a “Pod Save America” live event. Revisiting Biden’s “stupid son of a bitch” remark from January, Psaki commended Doocy’s handling of the exchange and of Biden’s apology for the name-calling episode.
“Sean Hannity asked him about what the president had said and what he said back. And he could’ve been like, ‘he’s a son of a bitch,’ or I’m standing up for whatever. He could’ve said anything. And instead he said, ‘you know, he called me. I’m just asking my questions. He’s doing his job,’” Psaki recalled. “You don’t have to like everything Peter Doocy says or does, but that was certainly a moment of grace by Peter Doocy.”