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- White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was critical of efforts to prevent people from voting in a recent press briefing, she wasn’t endorsing them.
A clip of White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responding to a reporter’s question is being shared on social media and some people seem confused about the context.
"Yes, she really said it," reads the text above the video. "Are you awake yet?"
In the video, the reporter asks Psaki about Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s opposition to changing the filibuster rules, which in part recently prevented Senate Democrats from advancing voting rights legislation.
"I think everyone is going to have to take a hard look at where they want to be at this moment in history as we’re looking at efforts across the country to prevent people from being able to exercise their fundamental rights."
The video then cuts to a clip of comedian Kevin Hart saying, "What the hell that b----- just say?"
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
At least one commenter seemed to interpret the post as meaning that Psaki said the Biden administration is trying to "prevent people from being able to exercise their fundamental rights." But that’s not right. Let’s look at it in context.
The clip of Psaki comes from a Jan. 10 press briefing, and other comments she made to reporters reinforce that.
"Any response to a recent statement from Senator Sinema’s office indicating she would not be in favor of changing the rules and dealing with these two pieces of legislation?," the reporter said.
"Look," Psaki said. "I think that everyone is going to have to take a hard look at where they want to be at this moment in history, as we’re looking at efforts across the country to prevent people from being able to exercise their fundamental rights."
That moment appears in the video in the Facebook post, but other comments Psaki made during the press briefing clarify her point and leave no confusion about the White House’s position on voting restrictions.
She talked about how President Joe Biden discussed voting rights in a recent speech "and that fundamental importance of protecting that right."
She aligned the White House’s position with "the position of many advocates for voting rights."
She said "protecting people’s fundamental voting rights" shouldn’t be a partisan issue and that "people should be protecting them and standing up for Americans of all political stripes."
"That is what we’re working to do," she continued. "And what we’re talking about here is fighting against the Big Lie that was perpetuated after January 6th in — around January 6th I should say — by many, far too many Republicans in Congress, and it has resulted in states across the country putting in place more laws that are making it more difficult for people to exercise their rights. We don’t think that’s right. We don’t think that is a political issue. It is a fundamental right in this country and it should be."
Facebook post, Jan. 24, 2022
The White House, Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki, Jan. 10, 2022
NPR, Arizona Democrats have censured Kyrsten Sinema over her pro-filibuster vote, Jan. 22, 2022