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Jen Psaki in MSNBC debut says Trump ‘energizing’ Democrats ahead of midterms

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki addresses reporters questions during her daily press conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the White House in Washington, D.C., on Friday, April 8, 2022.
Anna Rose Layden
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki addresses reporters questions during her daily press conference in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the White House in Washington, D.C., on Friday, April 8, 2022.

Former White House press secretary Jen Psaki in her debut as an MSNBC commentator said former President Trump is “energizing” Democratic voters ahead of the November midterm elections.

Psaki, the former face of the Biden White House who left the administration in May, made her first appearance as an MSNBC commentator Tuesday on “Alex Wagner Tonight.” She predicted that the more Trump puts himself front and center on personal issues, the more he endangers GOP candidates.

“Nothing is more of an excitement and driving factor than Donald Trump for Democrats,” Psaki told host Alex Wagner. “They love to be opposed to him because they are. Independents — many don’t want to see another reign of Trump.”

“The more he engages himself in the race, the more he puts himself out there, the more it’s a reminder of what’s at stake to people,” she continued. “Having Trump on the ballot is a hugely energizing factor.”

Trump has remained at the forefront of national politics as he’s worked to defeat perceived GOP rivals in primary races this year and defend his record as a Republican kingmaker. He’s also continued to swipe at former allies, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

The former president also faces several high-profile investigations, including allegations of interference in the 2020 election, mishandling of tax records in a New York probe and mishandling of classified documents as part of last month’s highly controversial FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago estate.

Along with abortion rights, Trump’s role as the embattled figurehead of the MAGA wing of the Republican Party has appeared to give a boost this election cycle to Democrats, who hold a 4-point lead in generic congressional ballots.

Psaki, who will begin hosting a new MSNBC show next year, said in her debut appearance on the network Tuesday that the Supreme Court overturning the nearly 50-year constitutional right to abortion was the most significant factor motivating Democrats this year — but House and Senate races remain close, especially with inflation at a 40-year high.

Although Trump and the 2020 election also remain major motivating issues this year, Psaki cautioned that Democrats’ strategy in boosting Trump-backed election deniers in GOP primaries carries risks.

“What you’re seeing here is everybody is playing a game of three-dimensional, five-dimensional chess,” she said. “But you don’t really know how it’s going to turn out, and that’s really scary.”

Tags Alex Wagner Alex Wagner Donald Trump Jen Psaki Jen Psaki Midterm elections MSNBC NBC

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