White House press secretary Jen Psaki refused to answer on Monday why Vice President Kamala Harris has been absent from her role as border czar and denied the Guatemalan president’s claims that he has only spoken to Harris once since she was named czar.
Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy pressed Psaki on whether Harris was still in charge of addressing the “root causes” of migration from Latin America and if she hadn’t spoken to President Alejandro Giammattei for six months. Psaki replied that the claim was “inaccurate” and called the report itself “strange.”
She further insisted that there has been a “range of conversations,” stating, “I think that’s reflected in our readout we put out last week with our National Security Advisor, with the Vice President’s National Security Advisor, with NSC Senior Director Juan Gonzales. We’ve put out an extensive readout of that just last week and we will continue that high level of engagement.”
Doocy clarified that Giammattei specifically mentioned Harris as the one he hadn’t spoken to since June.
Giammattei sat down with Fox News’ John Roberts last Wednesday to discuss migration, revealing that he he had spoken directly to Harris only one time when she visited his country in June. (RELATED: Harris Is In Charge Of Illegal Immigration ‘Root Causes’ She Spoke To Guatemalan President Once About It, He Says)
“Between my presidency and the White House, actually, no,” Giammattei stated when asked if there had any direct communication with Harris. “I spoke once with Joe Biden because I introduced myself. Then we had the visit of Vice President Harris. And on matters of state, migration, we had visit of Mr. Alejandro Mayorkas. But aside from that direct communication, no, we haven’t had it.”
Harris unveiled a plan for the border crisis in July, stating that the “Administration will consistently engage in the region to address the root causes of migration. We will build on what works, and we will pivot away from what does not work.” She went on to say that the “strength and security of the United States depends on the implementation of strategies like this one.” (RELATED: ‘It’s Not My First Trip’: Kamala Harris Reportedly Snaps When Asked Why It Took So Long For Her To Visit Border
Giammattei previously met with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in Washington, D.C., which included a discussion of migration, drug trafficking and economic opportunity, the New York Post reported.