Psaki tells Newsmax reporter she's 'not going to apologize' for Pete Buttigieg taking paternity leave

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press conference at the White House on October 19, 2021. Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images
White House press secretary Jen Psaki turned down a Newsmax reporter who questioned Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg's paternity leave.
"I'm not going to apologize for the family vacation," Psaki told the reporter.
Buttigieg was "mostly offline" for four weeks after the arrival of his twins in mid-August, the Ministry of Transport said.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday rejected a Newsmax reporter who questioned Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who is on paternity leave while the country faces supply chain problems.
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"Wouldn't it be wise if the secretary got back on the bike, so to speak, and came back to work?" Emerald Robinson, White House correspondent for Conservative Newsmax, asked Psaki during a press conference.
"He's at work," Psaki replied. "I was on a conference call with him this morning."
"He's in the department now? Every day?" asked Robinson.
"Listen, Emerald, I think what you mean here is this question of whether men, parents, women should have paternity and maternity leave, and the answer is absolutely yes," Psaki replied. Paid family vacation is a policy of the Biden administration - one the president wants to implement as part of his agenda for Build Back Better for All Americans, she added.
"We will not shrink from that," continued Psaki.
When Robinson Psaki pushed on the matter, the White House press secretary became visibly frustrated and considered taking maternity leave while she worked for the Obama administration.
"Just to be clear, we are pretty confident with the skills, talents of the officials and leadership in the Department of Transportation," said Psaki. "I took 12 weeks of maternity leave when I was the White House communications director, and I am grateful to former President Obama for that and for his leadership at the time."
She added, "Men and women should have that. They should have this time to bond with their children. I won't apologize from here. And surely we can do the job for the American." People in the meantime. "
Buttigieg's paternity leave sparked outrage on the right when conservative figures including Fox News host Tucker Carlson and commentator Candace Owens criticized the transportation secretary for taking time off work.
After Buttigieg tried to adopt for a year, Buttigieg and his husband Chasten welcomed twins in mid-August. Upon arrival, Buttigieg was "mostly offline" caring for his newborns for four weeks, with the exception of "important agency decisions and matters that could not be delegated," a transport ministry spokesman told Insider last week.
Buttigieg has since met with business and union leaders across the global supply chain, conducted media interviews and promoted President Joe Biden's bipartisan infrastructure law at events.
“Like other hardworking parents, the secretary brings work and family into harmony. While he is ramping up his activities, he will take some time in the coming weeks to support his husband and look after his new children, ”said the department spokesman called.
Buttigieg defended himself amid the criticism, telling CNN on Sunday that he "will not apologize to Tucker Carlson or anyone else for looking after my premature twins."
“The work we do is joyful, fulfilling, wonderful work. It's important work, ”he said.
The exchange on Tuesday takes place as the US faces global supply chain issues with higher consumer prices and delivery delays. The Biden government announced plans to combat the problem last week by running the Port of Los Angeles 24/7 to clean up a backlog and opening large companies like Walmart and FedEx longer to help move goods.
Read the original article on Business Insider
In this article:
Pete Buttigieg
American politician and statesman, 19th Secretary of Transportation
Jen Psaki
American political advisor and White House press secretary

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