White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday shut down a Fox News radio reporter who asked about trans girls in high school sports – a day after appearing to mock another of the network’s staffers.
Asked by White House correspondent Rachel Sutherland about Joe Biden‘s anti-discrimination executive order Psaki replied: ‘I’m not sure what your question is…trans rights are human rights.’
The president signed the order, titled Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation, just hours after assuming office.
It states: ‘Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports.’
Sutherland had asked during Tuesday’s briefing: ‘On President Biden’s transgender rights executive action, specifically when it applies to high school sports, what message would the White House have to trans girls and cis girls who may end up competing against each other?
‘It’s sparking some lawsuits and concern among parents, so does this administration have guidance for schools in dealing with the issue arising over trans girls competing against and with cis girls?’
Psaki replied: ‘I’m not sure what your question is.’
As Sutherland attempted to reply, adding ‘the president’s executive order has.’ Psaki replied with: ‘I’m familiar with the order, but what was your question about it?’
The Fox News radio host then said: ‘The question is, does the president have a message for local school officials in dealing with these kinds of disputes that are already starting to arise between trans girls who are competing against cis girls, and a level playing field, particularly in high school sports when it leads to college scholarships.
‘Is there any kind of messaging or clarification that the White House wants to give on the executive order?’
Psaki replied: ‘I would just say that the president’s belief is that trans rights are human rights, and that’s why he signed that executive order. In terms of the determinations by universities and colleges I would certainly defer to them.’
White House press secretary Jen Psaki, pictured, on Tuesday dismissed a Fox News radio reporter who asks about trans girls in high school sports
White House correspondent Rachel Sutherland, pictured, about Joe Biden’s anti-discrimination executive order during the press briefing Tuesday
Biden’s order states: ‘Every person should be treated with respect and dignity and should be able to live without fear, no matter who they are or whom they love.’
The president says that such anti-discrimination policies are ‘enshrined in the nation’s anti-discrimination laws’, and align with a Supreme Court ruling from 2020 that prohibits ‘discrimination on the basis of someone’s gender identity’.
Critics have said the order could unintentionally discriminate against cis females. Journalist Abigail Shrier wrote on Twitter last month: ‘On day 1, Biden unilaterally eviscerates women’s sports.’ The hashtag #BidenErasedWomen began trending.
But LGBT activists say the order was simply Biden’s attempt at moving towards a more inclusive society – just as he pledged to do in his inaugural address.
Chase Strangio, deputy director for transgender justice at the American Civil Liberties Union, said: ‘By stating the administration’s intention to follow Supreme Court precedent and federal law, at core all the newly-elected president did was lay out what the law is and agree, unlike his predecessor, to follow it.’
On Monday Psaki also appeared to mock a Fox reporter who asked where Biden’s green jobs are after 1,000 people were put out of work with president’s decision to cancel Keystone XL pipeline.
The president signed the order, titled Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation, just hours after assuming office. It states: ‘Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports’
Peter Doocy, a reporter with Fox News reporter, asked Psaki about the some 11,000 potential jobs will be shelved following the president’s decision to halt construction of the pipeline that was supposed to carry oil from Canada to Texas.
‘Where is it that they can go for their green job?’ Peter Doocy a reporter with Fox News reporter asked Psaki during Monday afternoon’s press briefing.
‘That is something the administration has promised and there is now a gap so I’m just curious when that happens, when those people can count on that?’ Doocy added.
The question was roundly mocked by Psaki.
‘Well, I’d certainly welcome you to present your data of all the thousands and thousands of people who won’t be getting a green job,’ Psaki retorted. ‘Maybe next time you’re here you can present that.’
But Doocy didn’t let up: ‘But you said they will be getting green jobs. I’m just asking when that happens?’ he responded.
On Monday Psaki also appeared to mock a Fox reporter who asked where Biden’s green jobs are after 1,000 people were put out of work with president’s decision to cancel Keystone XL pipeline.. Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy raised the question during a press briefing where he asked where workers could go for their ‘green job’
A report by the Laborers’ International Union of North America stated that 1,000 union jobs on the Keystone project would ‘immediately vanish,’ with another 10,000 jobs likely to disappear.
The 1,210-mile pipeline was to transport up to 830,000 barrels per day from Alberta to Nebraska and then through an existing system to refineries in Texas.
Biden has promised to create good-paying union jobs in the green energy sector as part of the drive to end America’s reliance on fossil fuels.
Psaki batted away the criticism and promised that Biden would be forthcoming with a jobs plan in the coming weeks.
‘He has every plan to share more details on that plan in the weeks ahead,’ she said after being asked how workers left jobless by the decision would be supported.