Psaki Admits She Lied About Biden Not Checking Watch During Dignified Transfer

Jen Psaki, the former White House Press Secretary and current MSNBC political pundit, has retracted a statement made in her book regarding President Joe Biden’s actions during a ceremony honoring 13 military personnel killed during his disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.

In her book titled “Say More,” Psaki initially stated that Biden did not check his watch during the ceremony, a detail she has now admitted to be incorrect. She announced that future editions of the book would be revised to remove this lie.

She noted in her retraction that the “detail in a few lines of the book about the exact number of times he looked at his watch will be removed in future reprints and the book,” she said.

Psaki defended Biden, stating that he checked his watch only after the ceremony had concluded and the bodies of the fallen soldiers were being transferred. She criticized the media for using this incident to portray Biden as insensitive and solely concerned about time passing.

The controversy arose in August 2021 when Biden was photographed looking at his watch while the bodies of the servicemen and women lay draped in American flags before him. This image drew widespread criticism, with many viewing it as disrespectful to the fallen soldiers and their families.

When questioned about the incident by the White House press corps, Psaki did not directly address whether Biden had checked his watch, instead emphasizing Biden’s empathy towards the families of fallen soldiers, drawing from his own experience of losing a child.

“One question on the dignified transfer, and then I want to get to Afghanistan,” Fox News correspondent Jacqui Heinrich asked the then-press secretary. “Some of the Gold Star families have criticized the President — President’s conduct at the dignified transfer. There was a father of one Marine who said that the President appeared to be checking his watch every time a flag-draped transfer case came out of the plane. And a sister of another Marine said that it felt like a fake and scripted apology. Was the President looking at his watch? And does he have a message to those people who felt that they were offended?”

“Well, I would say his message to all of the family members who were there, those who were not even in attendance is that he is grateful to their sons and daughters, the sacrifice they made to the country; that he knows firsthand what it’s like to lose a child and the fact that no one can tell you anything or say anything — or there’s no words that are going to fill that hole that is left by that,” Psaki responded.

“He’s not going to speak to and I’m not going to speak to the private conversations,” she continued. “Of course, they have the right to convey whatever they would like. But I will tell you, from spending a lot of time with him over the past couple of days, that he was deeply impacted by these family members who he met just two days ago; that he talks about them frequently in meetings and the incredible service and sacrifice of their sons and daughters. I — that is not going to change their suffering, but I wanted to convey that still.”

The ceremony took place at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where Biden, along with other top military officials, received the bodies of the fallen soldiers. Biden praised the bravery and sacrifice of the servicemen and women, stating that they had died for a “worthy mission.”

Despite the controversy surrounding the watch-checking incident, Biden’s administration continues to face scrutiny over its handling of the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, which culminated in the Taliban takeover of the country.