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Psaki punts reporter’s question about Pres. Biden and U.S. Space Force



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When a reporter asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki during Tuesday’s press briefing if President Joe Biden has made any decisions pertaining to the U.S. Space Force, Psaki appeared surprised, SpaceNews reported.

Specifically, the reporter asked the press secretary if the new president has made any decisions about “keeping, or keeping the scope of, Space Force”.

“Wow, Space Force,” Psaki said, visibly surprised by the question. 

“It’s the plane of today,” she joked.

According to SpaceNews, her “plane” remark is a reference to a question she received during her January 22 briefing about what color scheme the president would prefer for Air Force One. The Hill reported that she said Biden “has not spent a moment” thinking about the color scheme for the commander-in-chief’s official airplane.

As for the question Psaki was asked Tuesday about Space Force, she couldn’t provide an actual answer.

“I am happy to check with our Space Force point of contact,” Psaki said. “I’m not sure who that is. I will find out and see if they have any update on that.”

Click here to watch the full clip of Tuesday’s Space Force segment published by The Hill.

Founded in 2019, the U.S. Space Force is the newest branch of the nation’s military after much public advocacy by then-President Donald Trump. It was the first military branch created in decades, after the U.S. Air Force was established in 1947 after World War II.

Biden has not commented on the Space Force, according to SpaceNews, though the publication noted that the president does not get to choose whether or not to keep the Space Force. This is because Congress created the Space Force through legislation, just as with other armed services, and new legislation would have to be passed in order to get rid of the young military branch. SpaceNews also pointed out that the Space Force has bipartisan support, making any such effort unlikely.

Todd Harrison, a defense and space analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told SpaceNews on Tuesday that Psaki’s response to the Space Force question is a “pretty clear indication that national security space is not a top priority for the White House — at least not right now.”

“They’ve got a lot of other stuff to deal with, from COVID to climate change to the economy,” Harrison added. “But they’d better be ready to deal with space issues soon because you never know when a crisis might arise, like another destructive anti-satellite test by China.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Historic House Vote Expels Rep. George Santos Amidst Scandal



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In a turn of events, the House of Representatives made history on Friday with a vote to expel Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), marking the first such expulsion in over two decades. A moment fraught with gravity unfolded as Speaker Mike Johnson wielded his gavel to formalize Santos’ removal, setting a precedent in congressional annals.

Santos, indicted on 23 counts related to wire fraud, identity theft, and other charges, has not faced conviction but stands accused of misusing campaign funds for opulent purchases. The bipartisan vote, tallying 311 to 114, signaled robust support for expulsion, with a marginally higher number of Republicans opting to retain Santos.

Questions loomed as Speaker Johnson left the chamber, his silence leaving the fate of the ongoing government spending battle uncertain. According to reports from Fox News, Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer emphasized the non-partisan nature of the decision, asserting that members concluded Santos had tarnished the House’s reputation and was unfit for representation.

Within the GOP, conflicting opinions emerged, with Rep. Darrell Issa arguing against expulsion, citing the presumption of innocence. The tight-lipped stance of the House Ethics Committee played a pivotal role in the deliberations.

Conversely, members of the New York Republican delegation, led by Rep. Marc Molinaro, asserted Santos’ commission of crimes, justifying expulsion based on a comprehensive investigation.

Santos himself predicted the outcome in an exclusive morning interview on “FOX & Friends.” This vote not only underlines the House’s rare use of expulsion powers but also sets a critical precedent in handling members facing severe legal challenges.

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