Biden White House gets backlash for dismissive response to question on U.S. military's Space Force
Space Force was created under the Trump administration and put in place by Congress.
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White House press secretary Jen Psaki is facing backlash for what congressional Republicans and others consider a dismissive response to a reporter’s question about the future of Space Force – part of the U.S. Armed Forces that protects the country and its allies’ interests in space.
"Wow. Space Force. It’s the plane of today," Psaki said Tuesday, apparently referring to a question in the first days of the Biden administration about Air Force One’s color scheme.
"It is an interesting question," Psaki said in response to the reporter’s followup question about the military branch formed under the Trump administration and approved by Congress in 2019. "I am happy to check with our Space Force point of contact. I’m not sure who that is. I will find out and see if we have any update on that."
Alabama Rep. Mike Rogers, the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, asked Psaki to "immediately apologize" for her response.
"It's concerning to see the Biden administration's press secretary blatantly diminish an entire branch of our military as the punchline of a joke, which I’m sure China would find funny," Rogers said in a statement.
"The Space Force was passed with near unanimous support in Congress, the same type of 'unity' President Biden is supposedly working towards," he continued. "Jen Psaki needs to immediately apologize to the men and women of the Space Force for this disgraceful comment."
Psaki later tweeted, "We look forward to the continuing work of Space Force and invite the members of the team to come visit us in the briefing room anytime to share an update on their important work."
However, she has not apologized.
Florida GOP Rep. Mike Waltz, a member of the House Space Force Caucus, also took issue with the White House response.
"While the Biden Administration continues to think about whether or not the [Chinese Communist Party] is a threat, China is working overtime to become the dominant force in space," he tweeted. "We need the professionals [at Space Force] to keep American’s safe."