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(RepublicanWire.org) – Upset reporters erupted in protest and are speaking out after White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki pulled the plug early on a daily briefing before others had a chance to ask questions.

The press briefing lasted 40 minutes and the time was used up by only three reporters in the first two rows asking multiple questions and follow-ups.

Associated Press reporter Josh Boak signaled to Psaki that time was up. “Thanks, Jen,” Boak shouted out as a reporter asked Psaki a question about whether the US intended to get oil from Venezuela.

White House reporter Steven Nelson and Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times confronted Boak over the situation.

“You know, you don’t have to call the briefing over,” Nelson protested. “We have questions back here,” Nelson said from the fourth row.

“Let her call the briefing if it’s 40 minutes in,” he added.

“There are five rows back here and none of us got to ask a question,” said Al Jazeera’s Kimberly Halkett.

“Why did you call it?” asked Sweet. “Why did you do it?”

“Can we have an explanation?” Nelson followed up.

“Look, if you want to yell at me, I’m in the [AP] booth. You can do that there,” Boak answered.

Here’s what happened next via NY Post:

At that point, Steve Portnoy of CBS News Radio, president of the White House Correspondents Association, stepped up to try to calm things down.

As Portnoy explained, it’s traditional for the senior wire reporter at the briefing to “end it when we feel we’ve had enough.”

“Clearly, we have felt that we have not had enough,” he went on. “So there might be appropriate — an opportunity for we as a press corps to collectively decide when we’ve had enough, and to send that signal on our behalf to the AP man or woman so that he or she can signal to the secretary that we have had enough,” he said.

“I think it’s appropriate for us collectively as a unit, as a press corps, to reach that accommodation,” Portnoy said.

Although President Biden had no public events on his schedule, some reporters wanted the briefing to end in time for them to watch an afternoon event with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

Boak said he had “discussions” with people, whom he didn’t identify, who told him they “needed an out at 3:30 and I obliged them.” That led to more outrage, with journalists noting that Boak had indulged himself by asking Psaki three questions.

“If you knew you had an out, then why don’t you guys limit yourself to one topic?” Halkett of Al Jazeera said from her seat in the sixth row.

“You don’t think we all have assignments? We don’t have editors? We don’t have deadlines?” she asked.

From the fifth row, Sweet chimed in: “Right, if you agree on the out, why don’t you organize yourself on how you conduct yourself during the briefing?”

Sweet added that Psaki or her deputy Karine Jean-Pierre is capable of ending the briefing on their own and that the tradition of the AP calling the briefing should end.

“I understand all the traditions that we have,” said Sweet, who has been covering the White House since the early 1990s. “Maybe it’s time to end the tradition. And Jen and her colleagues are fully capable of saying, ‘I’ve got to go now.’ And let’s just end it. No one deserves to have to feel that responsibility.”

(RepublicanWire.org) – President Joe Biden has cut off the imports of Russian energy and, as gas prices have been rising for around a year, they are expected to climb more.

In his speech announcing the ban on Russian energy imports he also appeared to blame the rise in gas prices on the Russia and Ukraine war,  as he did later when confronted by a reporter.

“Do you have a message for the American people on gas prices?” a reporter said to Biden as he was walking.

“They’re going to go up,” the president said.

“What can you do about it?” the reporter pressed.

“Can’t do much right now. Russia’s responsible,” the president responded.

Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz shredded him for it, saying that the president is lying about the reasons for the rising gas prices.

“This is a flat-out lie. Gas prices have increased 48% under Biden—BEFORE RUSSIA INVADED UKRAINE. Biden did that. That’s bc Biden: – killed Keystone pipeline. – froze federal leases. – shut down ANWR All, while Biden waived sanctions on Putin’s pipeline,” the Texas senator said.

NBC News reported this week that the administration had made a decision to blame Russia for the gas prices.

When President Joe Biden called the rising cost of gas in the U.S. “Putin’s price hike” Tuesday — laying the blame for pain at the pump squarely on Russian President Vladimir Putin — it wasn’t a casual aside. And his warning to oil and gas companies against price gouging was no ad lib.

His comments while announcing a U.S. ban on Russian oil imports in response to Putin’s assault on Ukraine — which he repeated hours later as he arrived for a veterans event in to Fort Worth, Texas — were part of a deliberate shift by the White House in the president’s messaging strategy about gas prices ahead of the midterm elections, people familiar with the internal deliberations said.

“When Joe Biden came in the very first week in office, he shut down the Keystone Pipeline; he destroyed 11,000 high paying jobs, including 8,000 union jobs. He immediately froze new leases both on federal land on shore and on federal land off-shore. That’s had a dramatic effect; we’re seeing the prices skyrocketing at the pump,” the senator said on CNBC on Tuesday.

“It really is striking; in 2019 the United States became a net energy exporter,” he said. “We are an oil and gas superpower. And yet under Joe Biden, last year for the first time since then, America stopped being a net energy exporter as our production went down, and the result of Biden’s presidency has been that the enemies of America, countries like Russia, like Iran, like Venezuela, are all getting stronger, getting richer, getting more aggressive; getting more hostile because the president is simultaneously weakening our own ability to produce energy and strengthening their ability to produce energy. I gotta say: It’s backward on both fronts.”

“It’s important to understand that the rhetoric of the far Left, they don’t actually believe it,” the senator argued. “It’s not actually about the environment. If the only thing you cared about was the environment, let’s say you didn’t care at all about jobs; you didn’t care about inflation; you didn’t care about gas prices at the pump skyrocketing; you just cared about the environment; on that metric, the Biden administration is a disaster. Why? When you shut down the Keystone Pipeline, it’s not like the Canadians just leave that gas in the tar sands; instead, they put it on trucks and trains and they ship it south or they put it on ships and they ship it west to China. Both pollute more, produce mor CO2.  When you shut down production in the United States it’s not like the rest of the world suddenly ceases driving cars or flying jet airplanes; what happens instead is producers like Russia, producers like the Middle east produce more, and all of that production is dirtier; it pollutes more; and it’s more carbon emissions, more CO2.”

“So the effect of Joe Biden, the effect of the Greens in Germany has been more pollution and more CO2 emitted to the environment. Their rhetoric is not what they’re trying to do; what they’re really trying to do, it’s an irrational, emotional response. The Biden administration wants to destroy U.S. energy production,” he said.

“And I gotta say this past week has illustrated it powerfully; you’ve seen the Biden administration travel to Venezuela, go to Nicolas Maduro, a vicious dictator, an illegitimate government, someone who murders his own citizens, and beg them to produce oil. You’ve seen the Biden administration this week in Vienna with Iran trying to have the Ayatollah Khomeini produce more oil. And it is bizarre that this administration wants enemies of America like Russia and Iran and Venezuela to produce oil and at the same time to destroy jobs here in America,” he said.

Nat Malkus of AEI knows a setup when sees one. Such was the CDC’s timing of its mask announcement and the Biden SOTU.

Friday before last, the CDC released new guidance that drastically reduced indoor masking recommendations. Prior guidance recommended more than 90 percent of Americans and 100 percent of public school students mask indoors. Under the new guidance, the CDC recommends just 29 percent of Americans and just 31 percent of public school students do so.

The question to ask is not why the CDC made this dramatic change. It’s, why now? The answer seems clear—the CDC bent to political pressure from the Biden administration.

Since the Omicron peak, opinion pages have increasingly challenged the CDC’s overly restrictive recommendations. State after state ended their own mandates as COVID cases subsided and as the public’s trust—and practices—grew increasingly out of step with CDC guidance.

That Friday, only seven states maintained mask mandates, while over half of public school students attended mask optional schools. If the CDC was confident that 70 percent of the public need not wear masks, why did it wait so much longer than states did to announce this? And why in a late Friday news dump? If school specific masking requirements were unnecessary, why keep blanket school recommendations for so long?

The reason it happened on that Friday is clear. The announcement paved the way for President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address. Under the new guidance, President Biden was able to enter the House chamber unmasked and trumpet that “Under these new guidelines, most Americans in most of the country can now be mask free… COVID-19 need no longer control our lives.” Regarding schools, Biden shrugged off indifference evident one week prior to say, “Most Americans can remove their masks and stay in the classroom, and move forward safely.”

This timing seems more than just convenient. In mid-February, NBC reported, senior White House officials asked CDC Director Rochelle Walensky to update the mask guidance prior to the State of the Union. NBC noted, “The White House has been eager for the CDC to provide an update on its indoor mask recommendation, although it wants the agency to get it right, and it doesn’t want to appear as though it is putting political pressure on the agency.”

On this count, the administration failed spectacularly. CDC’s timing appears to be motivated by political expediency and little else. After all, no new scientific breakthroughs or studies spurred this change. And while the new guidance does use better data—adding county COVID-19 hospitalizations and hospital bed occupancy data to the COVID-19 case rate data—that data has been available for months. The only “pressure on the agency” that explains the timing of Friday’s announcement is political pressure.

Potential interference from the administration is a profound concern. It undermines the already fragile trust the public has in the CDC as an independent scientific agency. The CDC’s failure to act before now also points to significant failings within it, raising another question: How much longer might the CDC have waited if not for pressure from the State of the Union?

(RepublicanWire.org) – The White House on Sunday rejected the argument that increasing domestic oil production would help lower gas prices, as the cost of oil moves toward record highs.

Crude oil prices rose as high as $130.50 a barrel on Sunday evening.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki released a set of talking points on social media, arguing against a focus on boosting oil production in the United States.

“It’s a reminder that real energy security comes from reducing our dependence on fossil fuels,” Psaki wrote, noting that Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine was causing a spike in oil prices.

Psaki pushed back against Republicans calling for more domestic oil production.

She argued that domestic oil production was up after the coronavirus pandemic but that the United States was still vulnerable to global oil markets.

“[D]omestic production has not insulated us from the price volatility of fossil fuels or the whims of those who control them, such as President Putin,” she said. “Americans know that.”

President Joe Biden’s administration is exploring diplomatic shifts with oil producing countries including Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Iran, as Russia’s latest Ukrainian offensive has disrupted oil markets.

But Psaki argued the only way to truly be free from high gas prices was to stop using oil.

“The only way to protect US over the long term is to become energy independent,” she wrote, pointing to Biden’s efforts on subsidizing wind and solar energy.

The Biden administration continues to struggle to explain the president’s decision to end the Keystone XL pipeline project, his effort to shut down drilling permitting on federal land, and his decision to suspend drilling leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

In his State of the Union speech, Biden acknowledged that gas prices were rising, but offered subsidies for an electric cars as a solution.

He called for Congress to help him “lower the price of electric vehicles, saving you another $80 a month because you’ll never have to pay at the gas pump again.”

Biden also said he would continue releasing oil from America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, even though it failed to significantly affect gas prices.

“I know the news about what’s happening can seem alarming,” he said. “But I want you to know that we are going to be okay.”

(RepublicanWire.org) – The media loves ridiculous stories about former President Donald Trump and the more tabloid they are the more they cannot resist.

But the 45th President of the United States is hitting back at the newest rumor, that he clogged White House toilets in an attempt to get rid of documents, The Daily Mail reported.

“Following collaborative and respectful discussions, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) openly and willingly arranged with President Trump for the transport of boxes that contained letters, records, newspapers, magazines, and various articles. Some of this information will someday be displayed in the Donald J. Trump Presidential Library for the public to view my Administration’s incredible accomplishments for the American People,” he said in an email from his Save America PAC.

“The media’s characterization of my relationship with NARA is Fake News. It was exactly the opposite! It was a great honor to work with NARA to help formally preserve the Trump Legacy.

“The papers were given easily and without conflict and on a very friendly basis, which is different from the accounts being drawn up by the Fake News Media. In fact, it was viewed as routine and “no big deal.” In actuality, I have been told I was under no obligation to give this material based on various legal rulings that have been made over the years. Crooked Hillary Clinton, as an example, deleted and acid washed 32,000 emails and never gave that to the government. Then, they took large amounts of furniture out of the White House. And Bill Clinton kept numerous audio recordings that the archives wanted, but were unsuccessful at getting after going to court. We won’t even mention what is going on with the White House in the current, or various past administrations,” he said before addressing the story.

“Also, another fake story, that I flushed papers and documents down a White House toilet, is categorically untrue and simply made up by a reporter in order to get publicity for a mostly fictitious book. The Democrats are just using this and the Unselect Committee of political hacks as a camoflauge for how horribly our Country is doing under the Biden Administration,” he said.

“In the United States there has unfortunately become two legal standards, one for Republicans and one for Democrats. It should not be that way!” he said.

New York Times writer Maggie Haberman made the allegations in her forthcoming book, “Confidence Man,” Axios reported.

“While President Trump was in office, staff in the White House residence periodically discovered wads of printed paper clogging a toilet — and believed the president had flushed pieces of paper,” Axios said.

“The engineer would have to come and fix it and what the engineer would find would be … wads of clumped-up printed wet paper,” the reporter said when she appeared on the CNN show “New Day” on Thursday.

Host Brianna Keilar said that, since Trump had “the ability to declassify information,” what Haberman said in her book would be evidence of obscuring documents, or as she said, “so clearly this is trying to hide information.”

Haberman interrupted the host and said, “Brianna, I don’t want to say clearly. I don’t know what his motive is.”

The author also claimed that the former president still maintains a relationship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

“It is not unusual to maintain some kind of contact with other foreign leaders, former foreign leaders,” she said. “This would be unusual because this is the only one, to my knowledge, that he is staying he is still in touch with. As we know, he had a fixation on this relationship.”

(RepublicanWire.org) – As the Biden administration continues to garner low approval ratings amid frequent setbacks to its legislative agenda, President Biden is being pressured to shake things up among his staff.

It increasingly appears that Ron Klain, the White House chief of staff, may end up losing his job as the president’s top adviser.

Critics say that Klain has pushed the administration leftward on a number of crucial policy issues, resulting in a seemingly perpetual series of blunders.

Notably, Klain’s own Twitter was cited in the 6-3 Supreme Court ruling that struck down the Biden administration’s private-sector vaccine mandate.

Klain retweeted a statement that celebrated the OSHA vaccine mandate as “the ultimate work-around” for the federal government to require large-scale vaccination.

Klain is also believed to be the person responsible for leaking news of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement.

Democratic leaders in Congress appear to be growing increasingly frustrated with Klain.

According to the Daily Mail, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Klain’s relationship grew tense due to his role in negotiating the Build Back Better legislative package and the bipartisan infrastructure bill.

Additionally, it appears that Klain is responsible for souring West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin’s relationship with the White House. The Washington Post reports that Klain had a key role in drafting the White House’s response to Senator Manchin’s opposition to Build Back Better.

Sen. Manchin has told his allies that he blames Klain for pushing President Biden further to the left on policy. Manchin made clear that Klain damaged the senator’s relationship with President Biden.

An unnamed federal lawmaker criticized Klain for his relationship with the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.). The Daily Mail reports that this lawmaker accused Klain of creating “a monster” and that he has given the appearance that Rep. Jayapal holds considerable influence over the White House’s legislative agenda.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted in early February on 1,005 Americans left President Biden with his lowest approval rating yet: 41% of respondents said they approved of President Biden, while 56% disapproved.

Considering that Republicans have an 85% chance of retaking the House of Representatives and a 73% chance of retaking the Senate in the 2022 midterm elections, it appears that the Biden administration will be unable to advance its legislative agenda – which may be why Klain hinted that his time as chief of staff could end in 2022.

If Republicans retake both chambers of Congress, it is likely that Klain will have an even worse time negotiating policy.

Republican members of Congress are even calling for President Biden to fire him.

(RepublicanWire.org) – Vice President Kamala Harris continues to lose staff with the departure of yet another high-ranking member of her team.

Kate Childs Graham, Harris’ chief speechwriter, is leaving the vice president’s office at the end of the month, sources told Fox News.

A White House official told Fox News, “Kate is leaving the office, but not the family. The vice president is grateful for her service to the administration.”

“We are excited for her next step,” the official added.

This is far from the first resignation for the vice president’s team. The office has seen a virtual exodus over the course of her first year in office as staffers complain about their workplace morale.

Harris’ communications director Ashley Etienne resigned in November to “pursue other opportunities.” That came after reports of exasperation between Harris’ office and Biden’s amid lagging approval ratings for Harris.

Shortly after Etienne’s departure, Symone Sanders announced she would be departing at the end of the year. Harris’ office said Sanders, a senior adviser and her chief spokesperson, “will be missed.”

In January, Vincent Evans, who served as the vice president’s deputy director of public engagement and intergovernmental affairs for nearly a year, left to become the executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus.

In a press conference on the eve of the anniversary of his inauguration, President Biden said unambiguously that Harris would be his running mate for re-election in 2024.

“She is going to be my running mate – number one. And number two, I did put her in charge. I think she’s doing a good job,” Biden said.

(RepublicanWire.org) – Trucking professionals are responding to claims made by the White House last week that President Biden is responsible for “saving Christmas.”

In a statement from White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday December 22, she asserted the actions taken by the Biden Administration earlier this year to address America’s supply chain crunch averted a holiday disaster.

“Good news. We’ve saved Christmas,” Psaki bizarrely declared. “And that is because President Biden recognized this challenge early, acted as an honest broker to bring key stakeholders together, and focused on addressing practical problems across the global supply chain.”

Also on the same day, President Biden made similar comments after meeting with members of his Supply Chain Task Force.

“Earlier this fall, we heard a lot of dire warnings about supply chain problems leading to a crisis around the holidays, so we acted,” the President said. “We brought together business and labor leaders to solve problems. And much — you know, the much-predicted crisis didn’t occur. Packages are moving. Gifts are being delivered. Shelves are not empty.”

You may remember, Transportation Nation Network (TNN) reported in October President Biden came under intense criticism among many in the trucking community when he threatened to “call out” trucking companies and truckers if they didn’t “step up” and work harder to meet the supply chain challenges.

REACTION

While many within the trucking community likely didn’t see the White House’s most recent comments due to the hustle and bustle of making final preparations for the holidays, the reaction was fierce among many TNN members and readers who did see them.

“No. Hard working Truck Drivers fixed and saved Christmas,” Jerry Pressley, an owner-operator, responded to our story on social media.

“I’m a supply chain project manager and I call bullsh-t to this one,” Debra Grace wrote.

Christopher Dudley sounded off as well.

“Taking the credit for the work of truckers, port workers, and retailers… doesn’t surprise me one bit.”

“What a disgusting, lying, ugly joke…. he did nothing at all but disrupt it,” Todd Staricha said.

Dean Habhab shared a similar sentiment.

“You can’t be the hero of something you are the cause of,” Habhab contended.

“Did he drive the trucks [too]?” Steve Sheldon asked sarcastically, seemingly referencing the numerous times the President has been caught falsely claiming to having worked as a trucker.

For those who celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, James Edward Wall may have summed it up best.

“People need to realize that you can’t save Christmas when it’s definitely not about items, it only has to do with Jesus Christ and it’s been saved since he sacrificed himself for everyone in the world,” Wall passionately stated.

So far, not a single commenter on TNN’s social media pages or in our members feedback section have expressed support for the White House’s claims.