Jen Psaki’s Space Force ‘joke’ ignites anger among Florida Republicans
Ron DeSantis is making a significant push to have the U.S. Space Force headquarters located in Florida.

space force flag trump
White House press secretary brushed aside questions about the agency's future.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki ignited political outrage as she dodged a question about the Space Force’s future.

During a press briefing on Tuesday, Bloomberg News reporter Josh Wingrove asked Psaki whether President Joe Biden’s planned to keep the Space Force or keep its planned scope. The creation of the Space Force was a chief legacy item for President Donald Trump. There has been speculation about the military branch’s future, though most expect it to survive Biden’s presidency even if becomes a lower priority.

“Wow. Space Force,” she said. “It’s the plane of today. It is an interesting question. I’m happy to check with our Space Force point of contact. I’m not sure who that is. I’ll find out and see if we have any update on that.”

The tone of her response, read by Wingrove and others as poking fun at the military branch, stoked anger among lawmakers from space industry states, including Florida. The plane comment reportedly referenced a question the prior day about a paint job for Air Force One.

Rep. Michael Waltz, a Space Coast Republican, made the argument the Space Force must retain administration support.

“While the Biden Administration continues to think about whether or not the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] is a threat, China is working overtime to become the dominant force in space,” he tweeted. “We need the professionals, the United States Space Force, to keep Americans safe.”

While Waltz’s constituents in Florida’s 6th Congressional District may have the highest stake in the space industry’s future, a number of members of Florida’s congressional delegation expressed similar concern over Psaki’s disinterest in the Space Force.

“Press Secretary Jen Psaki brushed aside the United States Space Force when asked a legitimate question about the future of the agency,” said Rep. Kat Cammack, a Gainesville Republican. “The hardworking men and women of the Space Force aren’t a joke. She may want to ‘circle back’ with an apology.”

Rep. Byron Donalds, a Naples Republican, also expressed irritation at Psaki’s answer.

“The United States Space Force is a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, not the butt of a joke,” he tweeted. “Press Secretary Jen Psaki, your ‘joke’ is inappropriate, and you should circle back immediately with the more than 16,000 members of the Space Force with an apology from the White House lectern.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Ron Ogden

    February 2, 2021 at 5:38 pm

    A lightweight in a lightweight administration. The return of Donald Trump in 2024 cannot come soon enough.

  • Sonja Fitch

    February 3, 2021 at 1:12 am

    A branch of the military is going to be mocked or memed because the name is a rip off of science fiction not science facts! Just like warp speed another sci-fi fiction instead of a science fact.

  • Ben

    February 3, 2021 at 2:20 pm

    Speaking of warp speed, the cell phone which is welded to your ear 24/7 is a “rip off of science fiction”. The first cell phone was introduced by Motorola with the name “StarTAC”. Ever noticed the similarities between the Star Trek communicators and the first flip phone?

  • James Williams

    February 3, 2021 at 4:49 pm

    Nobody can seem to take a joke in the Republican ranks.

  • trump lost

    February 4, 2021 at 7:39 am

    Jen needs better jokes. Something like:

    “It is a dangerous world out there — it’s scary, like Vietnam. Sort of like the Vietnam era. It is my personal Vietnam. I feel like a great and very brave soldier.”


  • PeterH

    February 4, 2021 at 11:47 am

    Trump pilfered ‘Space Force’ funding to pay for the border wall that Trump promised Mexico would pay for.

    Those few individuals employed in the program …… know that it is a unnecessary Trump boondoggle ….. that will forever be at the very bottom of earmarked government funding ambitions. Trump’s forever legacy will be the January 6th white nationalist failed insurrection, Trump’s leaving the economy and unemployment in significantly much worse shape than the Obama economy he inherited and of course Trump’s record breaking $7 trillion added to the national debt in less than four years. Trump, an incompetent international embarrassment, will never occupy the White House ever again!

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