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Ethics group slams Psaki for comments on Fox’s Doocy, ditching White House for cable gig

An ethics group is complaining to the White House about recent comments press secretary Jen Psaki has made about a Fox News correspondent and reports of her upcoming departure from the administration to work for another network.

In a letter to White House counsel Dana Remus this week, Protect the People’s Trust alleged that Psaki had violated ethical codes by “disparaging” Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy, and that she has been engaged in a conflict of interest by lobbying for a cable news job while she is still serving as press secretary.

“The appearance of a conflict of interest risks further damaging the already low level of public trust in government,” the letter read. “In order to restore public trust and live up to Ms. Psaki’s own commitment to transparency and engagement, we are calling upon you to investigate whether Ms. Psaki violated her ethical duties, either in her remarks regarding Fox News or in her conduct while negotiating non-federal employment more generally.”

Psaki is expected to leave her post as press secretary this year to take a gig as a host and analyst on MSNBC.

During an episode of “Pod Save America” last week, Psaki was asked if Doocy was a “stupid son of a bitch” or if he played one on TV. 

“OK, um, well. He works for a network,” Psaki said, “that provides people with questions that, nothing personal to any individual, including Peter Doocy, but might make anyone sound like a stupid son of a bitch.”

Psaki also praised Doocy, saying he had shown a “moment of grace” after President Biden called him “a stupid son of a bitch.”

Biden, Psaki and other officials throughout the administration have regularly pushed back on questions coming from Fox News reporters, accusing them of bias and a conservative slant.

In a response to The Hill’s request for comment on the letter, a White House spokesperson asked: “What’s ‘Protect the Public’s Trust?’ Is that an insurance company?” 

Michael Chamberlain, director of Protect the People’s Trust, is a former Trump administration official.

Updated at 11:52 a.m.

Tags Dana Remus Fox News Jen Psaki Jen Psaki MSNBC peter doocy Peter Doocy Protect the People's Trust
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