White House press secretary Jen Psaki got into it with a Fox News reporter over Joe Biden's apparent turnaround on migrant policty to deal with the “crisis that ended up on the border with young people”.
On Friday, Biden signed an executive order retaining the Trump’s administration’s 15,000 refugee cap before committing to the 62,500 cap just hours later. It came after Biden receiving criticism from the progressive wing of his own party, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
At the daily briefing on Monday, Psaki was pressed as to whether that was because of pushback from AOC and other Democrats.
"I think we all have a responsibility to provide all of the context," Psaki said during the heated exchange.
It came after Psaki attempted to walk back comments from the president over the weekend that there was a "crisis" on the border.
Asked if that was now the official White House position, she said that Biden doesn't feel an "influx" of children at the border seeking refuge is a crisis. The real crisis is in Central America, where the "dire circumstances" are causing them to flee.
Turning to foreign policy, Psaki said there would be consequences for Russia if opposition leader Alexi Navalny dies while detained in Russia, but that they would not “telegraph the punches” of what those consequences would be.
“What happens to Mr Nevalny in the custody of the Russian government is the responsibility of the Russian government. They will be held accountable by the international community,” she said.
Biden, meanwhile, is being urged to announce a target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, ahead of the Earth Day climate summit.
Biden will host the virtual summit later this week. Scientists and climate campaigners say a 50-per-cent reduction in emissions “is ambitious, but it is achievable”.