Jen Psaki Was An Elizabeth Warren Critic Before Taking Job As Biden’s White House Press Secretary

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Jen Psaki serves as the White House press secretary, but before taking that post under President Joe Biden, she was a critic of Massachusetts U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Cambridge).

Psaki served as a political contributor for CNN from 2017 to 2020, after working as White House Communications Director from 2015 to 2017 under then-President Barack Obama. She served as spokesman for the United States Department of State from 2013 to 2015, also during the Obama administration. During her tenure as a CNN commentator, Psaki expressed some of her political views. Among those opinions expressed — on CNN and the internet — were her feelings about Warren. 

That includes a remark in 2017 where she dismissed the notion that the Democratic National Committee rigged the 2016 presidential primary in favor of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, cheating U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) of a fair opportunity to earn it.

In November 2017, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Warren, “Do you agree with the notion that it was rigged?” The “it” he was referring to was the 2016 Democratic presidential primary. To this, Warren responded “Yes.”

A couple of days later, Psaki made an appearance on CNN and addressed the same point.

“The reality here though is that when you have Senator Elizabeth Warren go out and say ‘This is rigged,’ we should all remember she’s going to run for president in 2020,” Psaki told CNN. “She wants Bernie Sanders supporters. There’s political motivation there too.”

Then in April 2019, when both Biden and Warren were in the race for president, Psaki offered another critique of Warren:  that she was only relevant in politics because of former President Barack Obama and his vice president, Biden.

“Elizabeth Warren would be a beloved Harvard Law Professor not a presidential candidate if @barackobama and @JoeBiden had not worked with her to make her idea to form a consumer financial protection bureau law,” she tweeted.

This tweet came after Warren said during a presidential campaign event in Iowa, “Joe Biden was on the side of credit card companies” rather than the side of the American people, as CNBC reported at the time. Warren and Biden were rivals for the Democratic nomination.

As Psaki points out, as a professor at Harvard Law School, Warren was an advocate for creating the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Obama signed it into law in July 2010, and in September 2010, he named Warren as an Assistant to the President and Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as an Obama White House press release from the time confirms.

Warren then ran for U.S. Senate in 2012 against incumbent Republican Scott Brown. She won the primary unopposed and went on to defeat Brown in the general election 53.7 percent to 46.2 percent, according to the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office.

The offices for Senator Warren and the White House press secretary could not be reached for comment on Wednesday or Thursday.