Psaki confronted on Biden's hot mic comment to reporter: He doesn't 'dismiss' deterring Putin

Biden was caught on a hot mic muttering “what a stupid question” after Fox News correspondent Jacqui Heinrich asked him, “Why are you waiting on [Russian President Vladimir] Putin to make the first move, sir?” Biden earlier this week sparked an outcry in Ukraine and around the world after he suggested a “minor incursion” by Russia into Ukraine would merit a different response than a more full-scale invasion.

“Is the president aware that he was caught on a hot mic yesterday? Why does he appear to be dismissing the idea of proactive deterrence?” Heinrich asked Psaki at Friday’s briefing.

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Press secretary Jen Psaki during a White House briefing March 22, 2021. President Joe Biden speaks on the economy Nov. 23, 2021, in Washington.

Press secretary Jen Psaki during a White House briefing March 22, 2021. President Joe Biden speaks on the economy Nov. 23, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci | Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“Well, the president certainly does not dismiss that idea, considering he has taken a lot of steps including supporting and approving the several sanctions that were put out by the Treasury Department just a couple of days ago,” Psaki said.

She said the U.S. had provided financial and military assistance to Ukraine as it stares down possible aggression from its neighbor.

“I would say the president is hardly waiting,” she said. “Actions are pretty clear on that front.”

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Biden’s latest broadside at a reporter comes after some liberal media members fawned over his nearly two-hour press conference, where he snapped at one reporter who asked about his recent comparisons of political opponents to segregationists. Reporter Brian Karem gushed afterward that Biden never “once tried to belittle us,” while NBC’s Yamiche Alcindor said he “didn’t lash out at reporters.”

A former member of the Obama administration pushed back after Biden’s remarks Thursday.

“It isn’t a stupid question,” former Obama Director of Global Engagement Brett Bruen tweeted. “It’s a really important one. We continue to allow Putin to set the terms, timeline, & trajectory of this crisis. It’s time we stop being so reactive & start creating some of our own conditions.”

President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin

President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin (Nic Antaya/Getty Images | Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images )

Fox News reached out to the White House for comment on Bruen’s tweet and received a response from White House Deputy Press Secretary Andy Bates that simply said, “Who?”

Biden walked back his “minor incursion” remarks on Thursday, saying any movement by assembled Russian troops into Ukraine territory would constitute an invasion and be met with a “severe and coordinated economic response.”

Fox News’ Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.

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