Jen Psaki spotlighted Sunday the changing talking points, and even hypocrisies, of several Donald Trump-supporting, MAGA Republicans when it comes to defunding the police.
The five-minute “Inside With Jen Psaki” segment breaks down how, despite many elected officials rallying around “backing the blue” and heralding “law and order” in the 2020 aftershocks of George Floyd’s murder, the likes of House representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan — and even Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — have changed their tune since Trump’s indictment.
“After all their outrage and fear mongering, they are the ones who want to defund law enforcement,” Psaki argued on her namesake MSNBC program.
The segment began by highlighting how the Republican Party first began portraying itself as the “defenders of law and order while portraying Democrats as soft on crime” during the Nixon administration. Such messaging was echoed in Trump’s 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns and by his political allies in response to Floyd’s death.
Meanwhile, many Democrats at the time were calling for the reallotment of police funds and other social services to better combat police violence — an initiative that boiled down to protestors’ chant to “defund the police.”
At the time, Greene called it a “Democrat war on police,” and in a video called up by Psaki, Gaetz is shown claiming, “They’ll disarm you, empty the prisons, lock you in your home, and invite MS13 to live next door, and the police aren’t coming when you call, and in Democrat-run cities, they’re already being defunded, disbanded.”
Of course, Psaki poked some holes in Trump’s call for “law and order,” considering he stands as the first and only president to ever be indicted.
“Ironically, the ‘law and order’ candidate who led chants of ‘lock her up’ about his Democratic opponent in 2016 is now facing 34 felony counts,” she said. “And his arraignment Tuesday might just be the first of many courtroom appearances. He’s also facing possible criminal charges out of Georgia as well as potential federal indictments over his role on January 6 and his handling of classified documents.”
And the former president isn’t alone in showcasing his “hypocrisy on crime,” she said. “You don’t need to look far to find more examples. Now in an effort to protect Donald Trump, those same defenders of law and order are themselves waging an assault on law enforcement.”
“Inside” then aired videos of DeSantis, Jordan, Greene and Gaetz all calling for variations of defunding the police.
“DOJ and FBI, well, if you never hold them accountable through the legislative process, either through law or through budget, of course power’s going to accumulate there,” DeSantis said on Friday.
Jordan said earlier this month that “we’re gonna have to look at the appropriations process and limit funds going to some of these agencies.”
Gaetz said on March 3, “We either get this government back on our side, or we defund and get rid of, abolish, the FBI, CDC, ATF, DOJ — every last one of them.”
And back in August 2022, Greene declared: “We have to defund and make cuts in the Department of Justice.”
“You heard that correctly: Republicans have apparently come full circle. It turns out after all their outrage and fear mongering, they are the ones who want to defund law enforcement,” Psaki said. “Remember, the job of the justice department is not just to file abstract legal briefs, it is to keep our country safe. That phrase is literally in their mission statement. They also oversee the FBI, which handles domestic and international terrorism, organized crime, white collar crime, as well as the ATF [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives], which plays a major role in fighting drug cartels. But these so-called champions of law and order want to defund, limit funds, and make cuts — those are their words, not mine — to those very agencies.”
The host then explained how such values are not just influencing Republican rhetoric, it’s also seen in these politicians’ actions, whether it be in some of them visiting the Jan. 6 insurrection defendants in jail or Trump’s own budget while president, which proposed cutting funds to local law enforcement.
“So if you worry about crime and want law enforcement to be fully funded and supported, the only place you should be directing your outrage for not doing more, it turns out, is MAGA Republicans and their now indicted leader,” Psaki concluded.
Watch the full “Inside With Jenn Psaki” segment in the video above.