White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday addressed growing social media mockery of her repeated promises to “circle back” on tough questions.
“I often note I’m going to circle back. I hate to disappoint conservative Twitter but I’m going to circle back on a number of things as we often do directly,” she said, before following up on questions from last week on Hurricane Maria relief funds, the extended White House fence, and FEMA requesting troops.
Last week, several media outlets noted Psaki’s repeated promises to “circle back” with reporters on questions for which she had no answers.
A montage from Grabien gained over 47,000 views on YouTube and received wide circulation on social media platforms like Twitter.
Other organizations like the NRA used her briefing habit to joke about gun ownership.
— NRA (@NRA) January 29, 2021
NBC’s Geoff Bennett picked up on Psaki’s “circle back” phrase, asking during the briefing, “Quickly, can I circle back to use that phrase to a question I asked…”
“Anyone can steal it just means you have to get back,” Psaki replied.
Bennett asked about whether the Biden administration would continue extending intelligence briefings to former President Donald Trump, suggesting the former president could use the information improperly.
Psaki said that the practice was “under review” by the new administration, and admitted that she still did not have an answer to the question.
“There was not a conclusion last I asked them about it, but I’m happy to follow up on it and see if there’s more to share,” she replied.
Psaki admitted in an interview with National Public Radio on Saturday that her use of the phrase “circle back” was a habit that she would have to fix.
“Twitter’s had a little fun with me because I say, I’m going to circle back. I’m going to circle back,” she said. “Now, I will say, and my very hardworking team can confirm, I’m obsessed with circling back with reporters, and not just saying it, but after the briefing getting back to them. That is sort of a tic I have that I’ve got to work on.”