White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki struggled to explain Monday why President Joe Biden’s travel ban on South Africa was not “xenophobic” — which is how then-candidate Biden described President Donald Trump’s ban on China last year.
Peter Doocy, the White House correspondent for Fox News, asked Psaki: “When President Trump was imposing travel restrictions in March [sic] specifically on China, then-candidate Biden called it ‘xenophobic’ and ‘fear-mongering.’ So now President Biden is putting travel restrictions on people coming in from other countries. What words would you use to describe that?”
I don’t think that’s quite a fair articulation. The president has been clear that he felt the “Muslim ban” was xenophobic. He overturned the “Muslim ban.” He also, though, has supported — and he himself, even before, or we did, I should say, even before he was inaugurated, steps, travel restrictions, in order to keep the American people safe to ensure that we are getting the pandemic under control. That’s been part of his policy. But he was critical of the former president for having a policy that was not more comprehensive than travel restrictions. And he conveyed at the time, and more recently, the importance of having a multifaceted approach … not just travel restrictions.
Biden’s tweet about Xenophobic & fear mongering was not about the Muslim country travel restrictions. It was about COVID, in March of last year. Biden also stated travel restrictions won’t work. https://t.co/v6PNl5ILOb pic.twitter.com/SRj8Wtq2oR
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) January 25, 2021
There was NEVER a “Muslim” Travel Ban…
Yes, Biden absolutely did oppose the China travel restrictions and call them ‘xenophobic’https://t.co/9MUwlYfI85
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) January 25, 2021
The WH Press Secretary also explained the China strategy: