White House press secretary Jen Psaski held a briefing on Wednesday and was asked by White House Correspondent Hunter Walker if the administration considers the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol an attempted “coup.”
– I want to ask you questions on two fronts here. First off, you know, it’s been over a month since the January 6 Capitol attack. And we have not received any kind of public briefing from the Capitol Police. A lot of people have raised concerns about that. Does President Biden want to see that kind of briefing? And also on a similar note, what does he think about efforts such as Congressman Jamal Bowman’s to establish a congressional investigation or commission into the Capitol attack?
JEN PSAKI: We certainly leave the determination about whether there’s a congressional investigation up to members of Congress. I’ve seen that proposal. Obviously, there are others who would need to support that to move it forward. And I know a number do.
In terms of the timeline of a briefing from the Capitol Police, you know, I would again refer to them on the timeline. Of course, here in the federal government, there’s an ongoing investigation, as you know, out of the Department of Justice. And I defer to them for any reports or updates from there.
– And a second question. You know, obviously, the president’s going to be addressing the coup in Myanmar today. You know, he’s, I’m assuming, speaking out against it and taking action there. You and Secretary of State Blinken have talked about how the January 6 attack makes it, I think, the Secretary of State said, a greater challenge. You said it will take some time for America to gain its status as a beacon of leadership again.
As we address this, how important is it to have accountability for the Capitol attack, including potentially impeachment as we want to spread democracy abroad?
JEN PSAKI: Well, I think what Secretary Blinken and I were both referring to is the fact that, in order to project to other countries around the world that there should be a protection of democracy, that there should be freedom of speech, that there should be freedom of expression, we have to conduct ourselves in that manner from here. And the pieces we have control over are what the President of the United States does, what the Secretary of State does, and how we all conduct ourselves from this administration.
He has spoken, as I started the briefing talking about, to his views on the horrific events of January 6 and the fact that it was an attack on our democracy here. He made those statements because that’s how he felt. And also it’s important to make that clear to the public and to the world. But in terms of what steps will be taken from here, we leave that to the Senate.
– Obviously, we’re calling what happened in Myanmar a coup. Do you think that’s an accurate description for what happened on January 6?
JEN PSAKI: I’m not going to give any new definitions. There’s obviously a process that’s ongoing. I’m sure you’ll all be watching today as the Senate proceeds with the hearings. I appreciate your creativity though.