Psaki Vows Never to Use Term ‘Red Line’ Again After Obama

Psaki Vows Never to Use Term ‘Red Line’ Again After Obama

February 3, 2021

In response to a reporter’s question about President Joe Biden’s “red line” on income caps for direct coronavirus stimulus payments, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday she would never use the term “red line” to describe Biden’s position on anything.

“Red line is an old term. We’re not going to use it again,” Psaki said.

Psaki was referring to her years as a spokeswoman in former President Barack Obama’s State Department when she repeatedly sparred with journalists about Obama’s use of the term “red line” to talk about his position on military force in Syria.

Obama infamously said in August 2012 that if Syrian officials used chemical or biological weapons during their civil war it would be a “red line” for future military actions in Syria. When Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appeared to cross the line a year later, Obama did not order direct military action in Syria.

“I’m not talking about red lines,” Psaki said during a 2013 State Department briefing. “I’m not having a debate or conversation about red lines, I’m not setting red lines. Let’s not talk about red today.”

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