White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded to a reporter from the right-wing website Newsmax who asked if President Joe Biden planned to fire U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield over a speech that included a line about slavery and white supremacy at our nation’s founding.
At Friday’s daily briefing, reporter Emerald Robinson paraphrased a line from Thomas-Greenfield’s recent speech to the National Action Network, in which the ambassador said “I have seen for myself how the original sin of slavery weaved white supremacy into our founding documents and principles.”
She then asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki “The statement is getting wildly criticized as essentially parroting Chinese Communist party talking points, so is the president going to remove her from her position as the representative before that body to promote United States values?”
Psaki rhetorically asked “Is the president going to remove an African American woman with decades of experience in the foreign service, who is widely respected around the world, from her position as ambassador to the UN?” and added, “He is not.”
Psaki went on to say that President Joe Biden “is proud to have her in that position, she is not only qualified, he believes she is exactly the right person in that role at this moment in time.”
“I have not seen her comments. I will say that there’s no question that there has been a history of institutional racism in this country, and that doesn’t require the UN ambassador to confirm that,” Psaki said.
“So that’s essentially the same lecture, though, that the Chinese delegation gave Secretary Blinken in Alaska last month, so does the president think our founding documents are racist?” Robinson asked.
“I would say that I will leave my comments to speak for themselves, and certainly I think most people recognize the history of systemic racism in our country, and she was speaking to that,” Psaki said.
According to Mediaite: “Robinson is incorrect about the Chinese delegation. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield delivered a similar line during a speech to the U.N. General Assembly in March, in which she said that slavery ‘weaved white supremacy and black inferiority into our founding documents and principles.’ It was a Chinese diplomat who referenced Thomas-Greenfield when they responded to U.S. human rights condemnations by saying that she’“in an exceptional case, admitted to her country’s ignoble human rights record, but that does not give the country license to get on the high horse and tell other countries what to do.’ ”
"Is POTUS going to remove an African American woman w/ decades of experience in the foreign service who's widely respected around the world from her position as ambassador to the UN? He's not" — Jen Psaki wasn't having a question about if Biden will fire Linda Thomas-Greenfield pic.twitter.com/VZOHKJDkOX
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 16, 2021