A video sent to President Biden’s Twitter account contradicts White House press secretary Jen Psaki’s Friday statement that Vice President Kamala Harris and others wore a face mask “before they went out” to the Rose Garden to celebrate the Supreme Court confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.
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“We witnessed a really historic moment yesterday,” Biden wrote in the tweet, which included a video of highlights from Friday’s proceedings.
In parts of the film, face masks are worn inside the White House, although footage from the Oval Office shows Harris, First Lady Jill Biden, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, Jackson, and members of Jackson’s family gathered around Biden without face masks at one point.
PSAKI DEFENDS KAMALA HARRIS’ MASKLESS HUG WITH JUDGE JACKSON: ‘AN EMOTIONAL MOMENT’
Psaki defended Harris on Friday after she hugged Jackson without wearing a face mask after coming into close contact with her communications director, who had tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. The footage contradicts Psaki’s claims that “the Vice President has been wearing a mask inside” and that “they were all wearing masks before they went out when there was a private welcome.”
Psaki appeared to acknowledge the error when asked by Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy about the embrace between Harris and Jackson at the White House ceremony earlier on Friday, saying Harris “was socially distanced for 99.9% of the event today, and she had an emotional moment, which is understandable.”
Doocy also reminded Psaki that while presiding over the Senate confirmation hearing for Jackson on Thursday, Harris did not wear a face mask.
“She was playing a critical part in confirming or monitoring the confirmation of the first Black woman to the Supreme Court,” Psaki said, adding that Harris spent “the vast, vast bulk of her time overseeing that confirmation yesterday socially separated from others.”
Jamal Simmons, Harris’ communications director, tested positive for COVID-19 one day after attending a White House ceremony when he was in close proximity to Harris and former President Barack Obama without wearing a mask. Simmons is secluding himself at home.
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