On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked if President Joe Biden will push back against the soft prosecution policies of some prosecutors in large, blue cities. Psaki said the president is “not going to wade into the actions of prosecutors.”
Psaki made her comments on the Thursday broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “America’s Newsroom.”
Fox’s Dana Perino and Bill Hemmer asked Psaki about a number of topics, eventually coming around to skyrocketing crime in the United States.
Perino asked about the crime rates, and made the point that people might not be worried about free pre-school if they’re more worried about being physically unsafe.
Psaki said that Biden would totally agree with that point, and that the Biden administration has “encouraged local leaders, local officials to take on the crime in their communities. That’s absolutely essential.”
“What the president has proposed and what we’ll get — there will be a lot of discussion of this I expect over the next couple of months, is a significant plus-up of funding for local community policing programs, significantly increased from the last president,” Psaki said.
“Because the president’s a believer in that,” she added.
Fox News’ Dana Perino then asked Psaki, “Will he push on the progressive prosecutors that are, for example, here in New York City, saying that things like using — taking a gun into a store, robbing it, but then leaving and nobody gets killed that that’s a misdemeanor, is the president okay with that?”
Psaki replied, “Well, look, the president’s not going to wade into the actions of prosecutors or of the legal Justice Department. That’s his bottom line.”
“But he’s also been very clear, he’s been a long-time supporter of COPS programs, of the police, of local first responders, of local law enforcement, and he has been an advocate for additional funding,” Psaki added.
Psaki finished, “As you know, it was a big issue of defunding the police, that was absolutely never anything he proposed or supported, even in the face of real criticism from within his own party.”
Watch Psaki’s comments below, starting at 7:12:
Later in the day, Psaki received follow up questions from the White House press pool.
A reporter referenced Psaki’s appearance on Fox and asked, “So why hasn’t the administration weighed in on some of these new policies from DAs who are, you know, downgrading certain crimes or refusing to prosecute certain crimes, given that it could undermine some of these broader efforts that your White House is making to show that it takes crime seriously?”
“Well, one, there is a law enforcement component and a justice component of the federal government. Right? The President has been crystal clear, I think, in almost every time he’s spoken about this, that he believes that more needs to be done by local leaders.
We’re going to support funding to ensure they have that, whether it’s local COPS programs or other programs to support surge response teams as we’re seeing different kinds of crime in different parts of the country. And that will continue to be what he advocates for. But I wouldn’t expect he’s going to comment on or engage in every local law enforcement action.”
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