Alabama Republican Congressman Mike Rogers demanded that White House press secretary Jen Psaki “immediately apologize” for “demeaning” the U.S. Space Force.
Rogers and Republican Florida Rep. Mike Waltz both made comments critical of Psaki Tuesday for what they described as a “disgraceful” joke Psaki made about the newest branch of the military where she joked it was “the plane of today.”
Psaki was asked on Tuesday about Joe Biden’s plans for the future of the Space Force, the nation’s security space branch, which was signed into law in December 2019. Psaki appeared to compare it to previous questions about whether the new president will update the color scheme of Air Force One.
“Wow! Space Force — it’s the plane of today,” Psaki said.
“It is an interesting question,” Psaki continued. “I am happy to check with our Space Force point of contact. I’m not sure who that is. I will find out and see if we have any update on that.”
Psaki took note of the criticism and described the Space Force as “important work” later that evening on Twitter.
“We look forward to the continuing work of Space Force and invite the members of the team to come visit us in the briefing room anytime to share an update on their important work,” Psaki wrote.
Rogers is the ranking Republican member of the House Armed Services Committee.
“It’s concerning to see the Biden administration’s press secretary blatantly diminish an entire branch of our military as the punchline of a joke, which I’m sure China would find funny,” Rogers told Politico. “The Space Force was passed with near unanimous support in Congress, the same type of ‘unity’ President Biden is supposedly working towards.”
“Jen Psaki needs to immediately apologize to the men and women of the Space Force for this disgraceful comment,” Rogers concluded.
Waltz is a founding member of the House Space Force Caucus. He also slammed Psaki for making light of the Space Force.
“This is just another example of the Biden administration not taking China seriously while demeaning the incredible work of Space Force personnel,” Waltz told Politico.
“While the Biden Administration continues to think about whether or not the #CCP is a threat, China is working overtime to become the dominant force in space,” Waltz said on Twitter. “We need the professionals, ‘SpaceDoD’ to keep American’s safe.”
The U.S. Space Force is an independent military service branch, whose mission is to organize, train and equip space forces to protect the U.S. in space. The branch was signed into law as part of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act in December 2019.
Rogers was an outspoken advocate for the creation of the Space Force. Rogers represents Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District.