Psaki Warns Of ‘Extraordinarily Elevated’ Inflation Data, Blames ‘Putin’s Price Hike’

Screenshot YouTube, White House Press Briefing 4/11/22

Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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White House press secretary Jen Psaki warned Monday that the administration is expecting “extraordinarily elevated” monthly inflation data.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for March is expected to be released Tuesday, and experts predict it will show 8.4% inflation over the past year, Axios reported. Psaki, speaking to reporters during a press briefing Monday, blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for the incoming “elevated” numbers.

“Because of the actions were taken to address the ‘Putin Price Hike,’ we are in a better place than we were last month, but we expect March … CPI headline inflation to be extraordinarily elevated due to ‘Putin’s Price Hike’, and we expect a large difference between core and headline inflation, reflecting the global disruptions in energy and food markets,” Psaki said.

The administration adopted the term “Putin Price Hike” upon announcing a ban on new imports of Russian oil earlier in March due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Since the announcement, administration officials have tied high gas prices to Putin’s war on Ukraine – though the U.S. has seen inflation far prior to Russia invading Ukraine.

“Just as an example, since President Putin’s military buildup accelerated in January, average gas prices are up more than 80 cents. Most of the increase occurred in the month of March, and at times gas prices were more than one dollar above pre-invasions levels,” Psaki said on Monday.

“So, that roughly 25% increase in gas prices will drive tomorrow’s inflation reading, and certainly it’s not a surprise to us, but we certainly think it will be reflected,” she added.


Psaki also reiterated that inflation numbers serve as “a reminder to us … that we need to do more to reduce costs for the American people,” mentioning legislation that the administration says “could do exactly that.”

The administration has been pressed its latest rebranding, with multiple reporters pointing out the ever-changing reasons for high gas prices coming from the White House. The “Putin’s price hike” narrative also coincides with a push from the administration to blame oil companies as well. (RELATED: ‘Putin’s Gas Price Hike’: Psaki Pins Russia And U.S. Oil Companies For Rising Gas Prices) 

In March, Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy pointed out that Biden previously blamed rising gas prices on “the supply chain and … post-pandemic demand.”

Similarly, Fox Business White House correspondent Edward Lawrence noted that gas prices had been rising far before Russia invaded Ukraine.

Psaki, at the time, maintained that “there’s widespread consensus that the sharp run of energy prices since January was caused by the building of Putin’s troops at Ukraine’s border.”

“The last two years there was a global pandemic,” Psaki also said in March. “Everyone who is a global economist have all agreed that has been the biggest contributor, to date, of inflation, because of the impact on the supply chain. Obviously global events impact the economy — the global economy — as well as global inflation. And the price hikes, as a result, that have escalated over the course of time of President Putin’s further invasion … are of course having an impact.”