White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden was referring to former President Donald Trump's tweets when he called Trump 'xenophobic' on the heels of Trump implementing the travel ban last year with China.
'What the president was critical of was the way that the former president put out, I believe, a xenophobic tweet and what he called the coronavirus and who he directed it at,' Psaki said at Monday's press briefing. 'The president has not been critical of travel restrictions, we have put those in place ourselves in the spring,' she added.
Psaki was responding to Fox News' Peter Doocy, who also asked her why the president was spotted maskless while out shopping in Nantucket this weekend.
'The president is somebody who follows the recommendations and the advice of the CDC,' Psaki said. 'I don't know what the circumstances were at that particular moment.'
Doocy first pounced on comments Biden made in the past, which could make him look like a hypocrite for his decision this weekend to bar entry to most travelers from eight African countries, where the new Omicron COVID-19 variant is prevalent.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden was referring to former President Donald Trump's tweets when he called Trump 'xenophobic' on the heels of Trump implementing the travel ban last year with China
Psaki was asked about previous comments then candidate Joe Biden (left) made the same day former President Donald Trump (right) announced the travel ban with China. Biden's campaign and later Biden said he was referencing previous comments Trump had made, not explicitly calling Trump's travel ban 'xenophobic'
Biden, however, long criticized Trump's use of the 'Chinese Virus' to refer to COVID-19
On the same day Trump announced he was banning travel from China in January 2020, Biden appeared at an Iowa campaign stop and spoke of Trump's 'hysterical xenophobia' and 'fear mongering.'
Biden took to the stage about 15 minutes after the ban was announced, with his campaign later denying he was linking the two things.