Jen Psaki quips Kamala Harris 'got a snack' when asked why VP visited Chicago bakery but not Mexico border

'So, while she was there, like many Americans, she got a snack. I think she's allowed to do that,' Psaki quipped

                            Jen Psaki quips Kamala Harris 'got a snack' when asked why VP visited Chicago bakery but not Mexico border
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki snapped at the reporterm saying Vice President Kamala Harris was visiting Chicago to discuss the accessibility of Covid-19 vaccine (Getty Images)

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has already irked her critics with her “circle back” replies at press conferences. And on Wednesday, April 7, the media representatives saw yet another instance of the press secretary failing to impress the listeners as she came up with a bizarre response to a reporter who wanted to know why Vice President Kamala Harris recently found time to visit a bakery in Chicago but not the brewing crisis at the southern border. Psaki defended the vice president saying she got a snack and that she was allowed to do that.

Harris, who made history this January by becoming the first woman vice president, visited the bakery on Tuesday, April 6, in her first official trip to the city since the inauguration. While the trip was meant to address the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccines and President Joe Biden’s massive infrastructure package worth $2 trillion, the Democrat made sure to visit Brown Sugar Bakery, one of the best-known sweet shops located in Chatham, where she picked a German chocolate cake. Owner Stephanie Hart was not present when the veep arrived but she later expressed her ecstasy over the high-profile visit.


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But Harris’s visit to the shop did not impress the surveillant media, which has been targeting the current administration over its immigration policies that allegedly have led to a mess at the Mexico border. Neither Biden nor Harris has made a visit to the border, especially after the latter was put in charge by the commander-in-chief last month to address the “root causes” of the crisis.


'Is Kamala Harris still working on border crisis?'

New York Post journalist Steven Nelson raised the point that Harris got time to visit a bakery in Chicago but not the border and asked Psaki about it. “As we discussed here today, Vice President Harris is put in charge of addressing the root causes of the border crisis,” he said, adding: “She hasn’t visited the border or Central America or spoken with leaders of El Salvador or Honduras. She was traveling this week, took time to visit a bakery in Chicago. I’m wondering, is she still working on this and can you address the perception that she's sort of quietly backing off while Secretary Mayorkas is pursuing some Trump-era policies?” The reporter was referring to Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas’s recent appearance to take a hardline stance on the deepening crisis at the border despite Harris being put to deal with it. 

With Cook County States Attorney Kim Foxx by her side, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris speaks with workers outside of the Brown Sugar Bakery in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood during a quick stop on April 6, 2021, in Chicago, Illinois. (Getty Images)

Mayorkas, who blamed the previous Trump administration for the border issues recently, has now reportedly backed many of Trump’s key policies during a closed-door meeting recently, including calling for more deportations and taking on sanctuary cities. Even the Biden administration could resume construction of the border wall that the incumbent president had canceled soon after coming to office.

Psaki was not perturbed by the question on Harris. She responded to Nelson saying: “She got a snack. I think she’s allowed to do that.”

'Like many other Americans, she got a snack'

“The vice president was visiting Chicago, actually, to talk about COVID and the importance of communities getting the vaccine when it’s available and accessible to them. So, while she was there, like many Americans, she got a snack,” the secretary added. 


Undocumented immigrants walk along the U.S.-Mexico border wall after they ran across the shallow Rio Grande into El Paso on March 17, 2021 in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. (Getty Images)

In the past too, Psaki was found defending Harris’ role on the migration issue, saying her role was to address the “root problem” in Central American countries that were causing people to reach the US and not on the border crisis in general. Recently, she also faced criticism over her less-than-definite answer on what steps the Biden administration was taking to deal with offenders after a few smugglers were seen dropping two little girls from the top of a tall border wall in a remote area near El Paso, Texas, and fleeing.

The secretary’s response led to the speculation that the Biden administration is trying to back off the vice president’s role as the immigration crisis snowballs with a record number of migrants arriving at the border every day and leaving the detention facilities under massive pressure.

Psaki said she still has no update on when Harris will be traveling to the Mexico border but was hopeful that it would happen soon.

Twitter split on the episode

While there were reactions galore on Twitter over Harris's bakery visit and Psaki's defending her, the social media platform was split. Comedian and political commentator Tom Young tweeted: "Sooo.... Jen Psaki confirmed that it's more important for Kamala Harris to snack than visit immigrant kids at the border during a crisis... got it." 


Sharon Holle from Iowa State Leadership Council at Joe Biden for President praised Psaki saying: "@PressSec Obliterates A Sexist Question About @VP Harris"