White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki spoke about the widely ridiculed “fake White House set” that became the center of a conspiracy theory – saying the stage was digitally lit to make the events look “a little bit more visual”. permit. during the pandemic.
Psaki, 43, made the reveal on Rob Lowe’s Literally podcast when The West Wing star asked her about the South Court Auditorium stage.
The Commander-in-Chief was ridiculed on social media in October for leading a “Truman Show presidency” after speaking from the glamorous stage, which featured a digital view of the rose garden in bloom from a fake window behind was him.
Biden also received his COVID-19 booster shot on set, which spawned a social media conspiracy theory that the president received his vaccine “from a fake Oval Office in a fake White House.”
“It’s just a place to do events, but it’s really not that exciting, it’s kind of like an auditorium,” Psaki told Lowe, according to the Daily Mail.
“But because of COVID and because the president wouldn’t travel as much and wouldn’t have as many people coming here, he hosts a lot of events from there and actually meets,” she said.
“You can put a bunch of people on screens and see them and talk to them and engage with them in a way that you would if he had 30 people here in a meeting,” Psaki added.
Lowe, who played Deputy White House Communications Secretary Samuel Norman Seaborn on the NBC drama series, interviewed Psaki last month for the episode, which debuts Thursday.
The set, located in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building across from the White House, was used for events that are broadcast online or involve video conferencing.
Biden used the set multiple times, including for his Sept. 22 virtual COVID-19 summit with other world leaders.
Psaki also called reporters’ questions during Biden’s mammoth press conference last month “an obsession,” the news outlet reported.
“It’s a very Washington thing, but he’s also answered multiple questions every day since he took the presidency. So in a fun way it was kind of people seeing what he does every day but in a less formal setting,” she reportedly said on the podcast.
Psaki added that she was inspired to return to politics after watching The West Wing after Obama left the White House in 2011.
“I work at this consultancy and I started watching The West Wing. And I don’t know what made me check it out, but I freaked out about the whole thing,” she said.
“In a crazy way [the show] really made me want to get back into politics and I eventually came back and did the 2012 campaign and traveled with the then President [Barack] Obama upon re-election,” Psaki said.
Lowe noted that when Psaki “got cooked through [Fox News’] Peter Doocy, you’re like, ‘Damn Rob Lowe is the one that got me up here,'” reported The Hill.
“It’s all your fault,” Psaki replied.