Psaki Slams Republicans for Blocking ATF Nominee: ‘Speaks Volumes’ About Their ‘Complete Refusal’ to Tackle Crime Spike


On Thursday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki slammed opponents of President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and said that in doing so Republicans aren’t interested in combating gun violence.

Senate Republicans are unanimously opposed to the nomination of David Chipman, citing his support for gun control. Meanwhile, senators including West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, a Democrat, and Maine’s Angus King, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, are undecided on the nomination.

Psaki was asked if the White House has reached out to King and whether it still stands by Chipman’s nomination or will “go with a different nominee at some point.”

Psaki replied, “I’m not going to read out private conversations with members of Congress. But I will tell you that we knew this wouldn’t be easy. ATF hasn’t had a confirmed director in six years and only one confirmed director since the position became Senate confirmable.” That director was B. Todd Jones, who served under President Barack Obama.

“We’ve been eyes wide open into the challenge from the beginning,” she continued. “But we are disappointed by the fact that many Republicans are moving in lockstep to try to hold up his nomination and handcuff the chief federal law enforcement agency tasked with fighting gun crimes. It speaks volumes to their complete refusal to tackle this spike in crime we’ve seen over the last 18 months.”

Psaki concluded her answer by defending Chipman.

“This is someone who has 25 years in distinguished service to our country as an ATF agent,” she said. “He has the exact set of skills and experience we need to revitalize the bureau’s work to crack down on gun trafficking and keep guns out of the hands of criminals. So certainly yes, we stand by his strong qualifications and nomination.”

Watch above, via CSPAN.

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