After President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden were spotted walking through a restaurant with bare faces, in violation of Washington, DC's indoor mask mandate, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki tried—and failed—to defend his actions.
"There is a mask requirement inside DC restaurants," Fox News' Peter Doocy asked, "yet President Biden, the First Lady, were not wearing masks while walking around, a DC restaurant and on Saturday, why?"
"Well I think what we're referring to," Psaki said, "is a photo of them walking out of a restaurant after they, they had eaten, masks in hand, where they had not yet put them back on yet."
Biden was seen inside the upscale DC eatery without a mask. There was video, too. DC still requires all indoor diners to wear a mask unless they're actively eating and drinking.
"So I would say, of course," Psaki said, "there are moments when we all don't put masks back on as quickly as we should, but I don't think we should lose the forest for the trees here."
For Psaki, Biden's failure to follow mandates that he has endorsed, despite DC residents being forced to follow these same rules, has less to do with Biden's failure to comply than it is an opportunity to pump the administration's message.
"Our objective here," she went on to say, trying to divert attention from the president's lack of mask, "is to get more people vaccinated, make sure that public schools and companies around the country can put in place requirements to save more lives and keep people safer. And, you know, not overly focus on moments in time, that don't reflect overarching policy."
That wasn't enough for Doocy, who wanted to know why the president thought he was not responsible to mask, though every other resident of the city is.
"Exiting the restaurant, though," Doocy pressed, "he was walking through the restaurant with no mask on. There is a carve out for people under two, or people who are actively eating or drinking, so I'm just curious why President was doing this."
"I think I just addressed it here," Psaki said, though the matter was not resolved.