Every fan and foe of White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki knows that her number one adversary in the briefing room is Fox's Peter Doocy. Just about every week brings us popcorn-worthy entertainment as he tries to shoot poison-arrow gotcha questions in her direction, but always becomes the target himself. From voting rights to migrants at the border to the role of the Justice Department, there is no dull topic when it comes to the sparring Psaki-Doocy duo.
So it was interesting to find out in a Mediaite interview with Psaki (see video here) that behind the scenes – or outside the press room – she and Doocy actually have an agreeable relationship. Here is part of the interview (starts at 3:32):
Mediaite: So Doocy praised you and the president for being willing to take tough questions, said you run a very low pressure — blood pressure — briefing room, and praised your press shot for being responsive. What would you like to say to Peter Doocy?
Psaki: You know, I would say that people don't see this every day, but we fully recognize Peter Doocy as — and many reporters, right? — they are doing their jobs and working on behalf of the media organizations they represent and asking, sometimes they're questions that are tough…
But my engagement with him, people don't always see this, but outside the briefing room, it is entirely professional and entirely, hopefully, responsive. And we treat each other in the way that professionals should treat each other out side of the briefing room. …
There's a performative component from the TV side of the briefing room. Because they are questions, many of them that are tough – that's their job. They don't come in there and ask what I had for breakfast. …
I'm very clear eyed about the view of Fox News, of me, of the president, of many people who work here. … Peter Doocy is a correspondent for Fox News. But I have also found my engagements with him to be entirely professional. He's somebody who engages with our staff, obviously in the briefing room, but also beyond the briefing room as well.
And Doocy was just as generous in his behind-the-scenes comments about Psaki. From Mediaite:
Doocy, for his part, has made similar comments about Psaki. He told The Washingtonian in May that it's "a very low-blood-pressure briefing room" and added that when she promises to get back to him on something, she or someone in her office always does, usually within hours.
An example of a Psaki and Doocy squabble in the briefing room: