White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked by Fox News's White House correspondent Peter Doocy about comments made by Biden advisor Cedric Richmond on Friday.
"Republicans defunded the police," Doocy quotes Richmond, "by not supporting the American Rescue Plan. But how is that an argument to be made when the president never mentioned needing money for police to stop a crime wave when he was selling the American Rescue Plan."
"The president did mention," Psaki said, "that the American Rescue Plan, the state and local funding, something that was supported by the President, a lot of Democrats who supported and voted for the bill, could help ensure local cops were kept on the beat in communities across the country."
"As you know, didn't receive a single Republican vote. That funding has been used to keep cops on the beat," she said.
"But at the time, that was about 'these local police departments might have a pandemic-related budget shortfall,' not 'we need to keep cops on the beat because there was a crime wave," Doocy said.
According to this video on CBS News, Cedric Richmond waffled a bit on the issue towards the end of the video saying that Biden "supports constitutional policing," but that funds could be used to hire and re-hire first responders who were laid off or furloughed because of the economic fallout of the pandemic.
"I think that any local department would argue that keeping cops on the beat to keep communities safe when they had to, because of budget shortfalls, fire police, is something that helps them address crime in their communities," Psaki replied.