Biden Believes Confrontation of Sinema in Bathroom ‘Absolutely Unacceptable:’ Psaki

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news and stories relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is based in Maryland.
October 9, 2021 Updated: October 9, 2021

President Joe Biden thinks protesters illegally confronting Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) in a bathroom in her home state is not acceptable, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday.

“While, of course, we all agree—and as Sen. Sinema said herself—the right to free speech and to protest is sacred to our country, he believes that what happened to her crossed the line and was absolutely unacceptable and flat out wrong to violate someone’s personal space in a bathroom,” Paski told reporters in Washington.

“It doesn’t need to happen that way. We can peacefully protest without it crossing that line,” she added.

Video footage recorded by a leftist group showed protesters harassing Sinema at Arizona State University in Phoenix, where she teaches. It’s illegal in the state to record anybody in a bathroom or a similar setting.

Arizona authorities are probing the matter but no criminal charges have been announced as of yet.

Sinema said what happened “was not legitimate protest,” adding, “It is unacceptable for activist organizations to instruct their members to jeopardize themselves by engaging in unlawful activities such as gaining entry to closed university buildings, disrupting learning environments, and filming students in a restroom.”

Biden, though, reacted in a way some criticized as excusing the confrontation.

“I don’t think they’re appropriate tactics but it happens to everybody,” he claimed on Oct. 4.

“The only people it doesn’t happen to is people who have Secret Service standing around. So it’s part of the process,” he added.

Psaki said Biden “conveyed very clearly” that what happened was not acceptable.

White House staffers have been in close touch with the senator over the past several days regarding negotiations on the $3.5 trillion budget proposal, she added.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news and stories relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is based in Maryland.