The White House conceded Thursday that some Democrats wanted to defund the police, and defended their right to voice their views on the issue.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki responded to questions about Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) after she told Americans in an interview on Wednesday to “suck it up” and that “defunding the police has to happen.”
“There may be some in the Democratic Party, including Congresswoman Bush, who disagree with him. That’s okay,” Psaki said. “But I would say the majority of Democrats also agree that we should not defund the police.”
Psaki claimed that Biden did not support defunding the police, even though he agreed to the idea of redirecting funding from the police in an interview during the 2020 campaign.
“Yes, absolutely,” Biden replied when asked by a far left activist about “redirect[ing] some of the funding” for police to other causes.
Despite placating the left in the Democratic 2020 presidential primary, Biden has expressed grave concerns that the “defund the police” message has cost the Democrats politically.
Biden warned black activists in December 2020 that Republicans “beat the living hell out of us across the country” with the message about defunding the police.
“We’re not. We’re talking about holding them accountable,” he claimed.
In July, Biden said Republicans were lying by trying to paint him and the Democrats as anti-police.
“They’re lying,” he said, during a CNN town hall with anchor Don Lemon, arguing he “never, never” called for defunding the police.