Shep Takes Psaki to Task on Syrian ‘Red Lines’ and Egyptian Aid


Shepard Smith took State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki to task over President Obama's record on enforcing Syrian "red lines" and redefining the word "coup" to maintain Egyptian foreign aid Wednesday on "Fox News."

Smith asked Psaki if the United States' credibility has been damaged in light of the Obama administration's apparent unwillingness to respond with force to Bashar al-Assad's repeated use of chemical weapons.

Psaki replied the United States responded by expanding the "scale and scope" of our aid to the Syrian rebels, noting that "aid has many meanings":

SHEPARD SMITH: In June we established that chemical weapons had been used, the line had been crossed and you stated what we did was expanded our aid. Is that correct?

JEN PSAKI: We expanded the scale and scope of our aid.

SHEPARD SMITH: So is that what the president meant when he said it was be a game-changer, send more aid? Does that help the credibility?

JEN PSAKI: Aid has many he meetings. I'm not going into the details but we remain in close with the general and the SMC and remain in touch with what their needs are. We're working with counterparts around the world on how to strength and assist on the ground. They're all ongoing. But it's important to note all options are barring boots on the ground remain on the table. That's the decision the president can make.

Smith then turned to the subject of the White House's refusal to make a determination as to whether or not a "coup" has occurred in Egypt.

The FNC host asked Psaki if she thought the United States might "look silly" to other nations around the world for attempting to redefine the word "coup" in an obvious effort to preserve aid for Egypt's military:

SHEPARD SMITH: Do you think that to those around the world we might look silly for trying to redefine a world?

JEN PSAKI: I think people around the world understand in a situation where the United States cannot determine the future of Egypt, that's up to the Egyptian people, we can't take sides and shouldn't and we haven't taken sides. We're abiding by our legal obligations as it relates to aid and any other issue but at the same time we want to do everything possible to give the Egyptian the people the best path to sustainable democracy. That's one of the reasons we decided we would not make a determination.

Smith concluded the interview by pointedly asking Psaki if it has been difficult to go out and deliver administration talking points suggesting the United States has not taken sides in Egypt when tacit U.S. support for the Egyptian military is very clear:

SHEPARD SMITH: I for one as an aside don't think it's fair you're in this position. I wonder how difficult it is when administration changes the definition of words and say they're not taking sides when obviously they are for a spokesperson who is put out to talk about it before the world.

JEN PSAKI: I don't find it difficult at all. The issue is complicated on the ground. It's up to the Egyptian people. We have our eye on the end goal here which is the Egyptian people moving towards a sustainable long term democracy. We knew this road would be rocky. We've been as it for 200 years, a hundred years, and more than that and we feel the window is open for Egypt to reach that point.

Psaki's rough outing on "Studio B" followed another difficult series of questions on Syrian "red lines" in today's State Department press conference:


Get the news that matters most to you, delivered straight to your inbox daily.

Register today!
  • Grow your email list exponentially
  • Dramatically increase your conversion rates
  • Engage more with your audience
  • Boost your current and future profits