Psaki Tries to Defend Biden Calling Trump’s Travel Ban ‘Hysterical Xenophobia’
CLAIM: Biden is not a hypocrite for his newly-imposed travel ban on several African nations after calling Trump’s ban “hysterical xenophobia” at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, because Biden had been responding to a Trump “tweet,” and because he was consulting scientists in imposing his travel ban, unlike the former president.
VERDICT: FALSE. Biden was not responding to a “tweet,” and Trump was consulting scientists at the time of his travel ban.
Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki Monday about the apparent hypocrisy of President Joe Biden imposing a travel ban on South Africa and other African countries, after calling a travel ban by then-President Donald Trump at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in January 2020 “hysterical xenophobia” and “fear-mongering.”
Biden’s attack backfired and dogged him throughout the campaign until he admitted Trump had been right.
Establishment media fact-checkers, such as CNN, tried to rescue Biden from his ill-advised condemnation. In one of the most bizarre defense of Biden ever mounted, CNN even claimed: “It’s not clear Biden even knew about Trump’s China travel restrictions when he called Trump xenophobic on the day the restrictions were unveiled.”
However, Biden’s remarks were widely reported at the time — including by establishment outlets like The Hill — as a response to Trump’s travel ban policy.