White House press secretary Jen Psaki is a master at deflecting attack questions from dense journalists who still don't realize what they're up against. Her strategy is threefold: 1) answer with smart honest facts; 2) remain calm, focused, and poised; 3) add a dash of dry humor or sarcasm, paired with a subtle smile. And with these skills came another entertaining moment at the latest press briefing when Newsmax reporter John Gizzi rambled off a question about a "private memo."
"There is a private memo that's being circulated in the business community and to some republican senators that said that the 2.25 trillion dollar price tag is 1 trillion off," he said. He then lists a few items that were "off," before asking, "Do you have any response to the charge that the president lowballed the price tag on the infrastructure bill?"
Psaki must've been salivating as soon as she heard the phrase "private memo," but her professional composure didn't give this away. Instead, she put on her poker face as she referred to the "private memo" as a "secret memo."
"Sounds mysterious — the memo, the secret memo," she said, then smiled quickly as if it were an inside joke between Gizzi and herself. She then has him clarify (asking to clarify is another component of her strategy not mentioned above) before wrapping it up with, "Well we laid out very specifically each component of the package and how much we're proposing. So I would encourage y'all to get your calculators out and charge that up and see how it compares to the secret memo." Brilliant, as always.