White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday dismissed CBS anchor Gayle King’s accusation that the U.S. had displayed “very bad behavior” internationally recently, saying that the administration doesn’t see it that way.
The exchange came during Psaki’s appearance on CBS Mornings in which she described President Biden’s Tuesday address before the United Nations General Assembly as forward-looking, at which point King noted that the president can’t “ignore what has happened before.”
“We’re still getting hammered for how the withdrawal from Afghanistan happened,” King said. “Everybody knows, many people believe it was time. It’s just the way that it was done … That’s not a good look. You look at what’s happening with immigration. You look at France now saying that they’ve been betrayed by the United States. So I get that we have to look forward. But what are we doing to justify or explain what appears to be very bad behavior on our part?”
“We don’t see it that way,” Psaki said.
The interview came amid a series of failures for the Biden administration: the announcement that a recent drone strike in Kabul killed civilians instead of ISIS-K members, a rapidly worsening crisis in Del Rio, Texas where thousands of predominantly Haitian migrants have camped out under the international bridge, as well as France’s announcement that it had recalled its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia in protest of the U.S.’s agreement to sell nuclear-powered submarines to Australia without consulting French officials.
Psaki defended the secret negotiations with Australia during the interview on Tuesday.
“They’re displeased about that, but we have a long-abiding friendship with them that’s going to endure,” she said of France.
Psaki also rejected that the U.S. has a “dysfunctional” relationship with China, as United Nations Secretary General António Guterres claimed.
“We do see the relationship through the prism of competition. China is a competitor, but it’s not a country we want to have conflict with,” Psaki said.