White House press secretary mocks reporters for obsessing about GameStop: 'You guys are trying so hard'


White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was peppered with questions on Friday about a new story the captivated the media's attention throughout the week, even as she continuously tried to turn the discussion back to the administration's efforts to fight COVID-19 and the economic crisis.

Much of Twitter and the press had been focused on the recent developments in, of all things, the stock price of the company GameStop. The stock price recently soared after a concerted online push by individual investors, apparently motivated by nostalgic admiration of the increasingly marginal retailer and a desire to undermine hedge fund investors who had been betting against the stock's success. The situation only became more convoluted when Robinhood, an app designed to facilitate stock buying among amae traders, restricted purchases of the stock in response to the surge.

"I love the effort," Psaki said with mild mockery, after being asked about the issue multiple times by reporters in the briefing room. "You guys are trying so hard."

She had previously said the Treasury Department is monitoring the situation and that the White House is more focused on pushing through the $1.9 trillion relief bill President Joe Biden has proposed, which targets funds to families, the unemployed, as well as state and local governments. It also provides more funding to test for COVID-19 and distribute vaccinations.

Psaki didn't ignore the GameStop issue, which has had a significant impact on the stock market over the week. But she emphasized that it was being monitored by the relevant authorities, and it wasn't Biden's priority.

"The U.S. government is starting to work how it should," she said. "The SEC is a regulatory agency that oversees and monitors developments along these lines. It is currently in their purview."

The previous day, she had pointed out that the stock market is not the way many working families experience the economy.

"It is a good reminder that the stock market is not the only measure of the health of our economy and it does not reflect how working and middle-class families are doing," she said.

One reporter asked if Biden would be addressing the issue in his upcoming meeting with advisers.

"It's a big story," they said.

"I know it's a big story," Psaki said. "Our focus and our big story is getting the American people back to work."

Watch the clips below:

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