‘The Timing Was Suspect’: Fox News Reporter Asks Jen Psaki if Maybe the Russians Killed Power to TV Networks on White House Lawn

‘The Timing Was Suspect’: Fox News Reporter Asks Jen Psaki if Maybe the Russians Killed Power to TV Networks on White House Lawn

Fox News White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich asked White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki if a brief power outage on the North Lawn of the White House may have been “related” to cyberattacks on Ukraine.

President Joe Biden gave a brief speech Tuesday afternoon on the situation in Ukraine, warning Russia against any further aggression. He also said that ” if Russia attacks the United States or our Allies through asymmetric means, like disruptive cyberattacks against our companies or critical infrastructure, we are prepared to respond.”

At a White House press briefing following the speech, Heinrich asked about recent cyberattacks in Ukraine, then followed up by asking about a power disruption on the North Lawn whose timing she described as “suspect”:

MS. HEINRICH: We’ve been told for a long time that some cyberattacks would likely precede an invasion. So, if it turns out that Russia is behind what happened today — or is — I guess, how I should phrase it is: Is there work being done quickly to figure out if Russia is behind what happened today so that sanctions can be imposed before there is bloodshed? Or is the calculus still sort of centering on force on force or some, you know, passing over the border?

MS. PSAKI: Sure. Well, we are constantly doing those assessments. And certainly, as any cyberattack happens, that is certainly a process that happens behind the scenes and that our intelligence community and our national security community undertakes, as it would be in this case as well.

I would note, though, as it relates to sanctions: One, there’s a range of means that we could respond, both seen and unseen, to a — to a cyberattack or any other attack. And the President has the purview to do whatever he chooses in that regard.

But our view remains that the crippling package of sanctions is an effective deterrent. So if you do that all in advance, what is to stop them from moving forward?

Now, that may be a different policy issue — difference of opinion, I should say, on policy issues with some in Congress, and that’s okay. But that is our view from the administration.

MS. HEINRICH: And then, this may or may not be related at all, but is there any information on what caused the power outage on the North Lawn? Every TV network lost power at the same time during the President’s remarks.

MS. PSAKI: It was a very inconvenient time, I will just note, for all of you —

MS. HEINRICH: The timing was suspect, yes.

MS. PSAKI: — and for us. I don’t have any assessment of that, no. Or — yes.


Watch above via NBC News.

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