Psaki Struggles to Explain Why South Africa Travel Ban Isn’t ‘Xenophobic’

Psaki Struggles to Explain Why South Africa Travel Ban Isn’t ‘Xenophobic’

January 26, 2021

In Monday’s White House press conference, Press Secretary Jen Psaki struggled to explain why President Joe Biden’s travel ban on South Africa was not “xenophobic” — which is how then-candidate Biden described President Trump’s ban on China last year.

When Biden’s smear was pointed out to Psaki and she was asked what words she would you use to describe the South Africa ban, Psaki replied, “I don’t think that’s quite a fair articulation. The president has been clear that he felt the ‘Muslim ban’ was xenophobic.”

Fact check: there was no “Muslim ban.” There was a travel moratorium on a handful of countries, most of them from Muslim majority countries, all of them hotbeds of international terrorism. At least 85% of the world’s Muslims were not affected. But it served the Democrats well to mislabel it as Trump’s “Muslim ban.”

“He overturned the ‘Muslim ban,’” Psaki continued her non-answer. “He also, though, has supported — and he himself, even before, or we did, I should say, even before he was inaugurated, steps, travel restrictions, in order to keep the American people safe to ensure that we are getting the pandemic under control. That’s been part of his policy. But he was critical of the former president for having a policy that was not more comprehensive than travel restrictions. And he conveyed at the time, and more recently, the importance of having a multifaceted approach … not just travel restrictions.”

In other words, our travel ban isn’t xenophobic because we’re Democrats, and only Republicans can be xenophobic.

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