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Tipsheet

Psaki Dodges on Why VP Harris Has Not Spoken to Guatemalan President for Months About Border Crisis

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was unable to explain why Vice President Kamala Harris had not spoken directly to Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei for months despite being tapped by President Joe Biden to lead the effort in addressing the "root causes" of illegal immigration in the Northern Triangle countries in Central America.

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Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy pressed Psaki about the issue during Monday's White House press briefing.

"Is Vice President Harris still in charge of addressing the root causes of migration from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala?” Doocy asked.

"She is. And I just announced a commitment that she’s announcing this afternoon," Psaki replied.

"Then why is it that she has not spoken to the president of Guatemala since June? 6 months," Doocy asked.

When Psaki noted the "strange report from the president of Guatemala" about having no contact from the "White House," Doocy interjected and pointed out Giammattei did not say he has not talked to the White House in months but has not talked with Harris specifically.

"Well, we have had a range of conversations, Peter. 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," Psaki said.

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While illegal immigrants originating from the Northern Triangle countries make up the bulk of apprehensions and encounters along the U.S.-Mexico border, the Yuma Sector in Arizona continues to see large groups of Venezuelans, Colombians, Haitians, and Brazilians, highlighting how the ongoing border crisis goes far beyond El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.


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