Fox News host John Roberts on Tuesday suggested that White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had "nefarious" motives because she reportedly tried to research her answers before facing reporters on camera.
Roberts hosted a nearly 5-minute on-air discussion with conservative pundit Joe Concha about a Daily Beast report that claimed Psaki had asked reporters for their questions in advance of the briefing.
"This idea that the White House is inquiring of reporters what's on their minds and maybe sort of what direction their questions are going in, how much of this do you think is nefarious and how much of this do you think is simply click-bait on the part of the Daily Beast?" Roberts wondered.
"This is the way things have always worked," Concha admitted, "in terms of gaggles beforehand with the press secretary. Basically a way to have an informal conversation around where these correspondents' heads are at in terms of topics."
But Concha argued that Psaki was wrong to follow the tradition.
"Shouldn't the press secretary be able to defend the policies and perspectives of the White House without having to get a heads up first on topics?" he opined. "That's a lot like going to a job interview and going to the person a couple of hours beforehand that you're interviewing with and saying, 'Hey, can you share some of the questions that I'm going to be asked so I can have more accurate information for you when I sit down with you for this job?'"
Concha added: "The optics here, John, are quite horrible frankly."
Roberts said that he was concerned that the "White House is doing it so that they look smart on these issues."
"Yeah," Concha agreed. "We've seen Jen Psaki, time and again, say she has to circle back on certain information."