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Jen Psaki says she fears sending daughter to kindergarten in US in wake of Uvalde shooting

The Independent logo The Independent 26/05/2022 Graig Graziosi
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Former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the Uvalde mass shooting has made her fear for her child's safety at school.

Ms Psaki made her first television appearance since leaving the White House earlier this month on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

During her appearance on the show Mr Fallon asked her about the shooting that left 19 students and two faculty members of Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, dead.

"I wanted to get your perspective on the catastrophic mass school shooting that happened yesterday," Fallon asked. "'Obviously we're all shaken by this, but how does the White House handle events of this type?"

She explained that she, like everyone else in the nation, was shocked by the event, and that being a mother of two small children amplified those feelings.

"Yeah, I was [shaken]- I have two little kids. I know you have kids I think that are a little older than my kids," she said. "The first reaction I had when I saw the news was shock, of course, and I'm sure this is what they were feeling in the White House too. And sadness. You know, that kind of sadness that you get when your throat feels like it's - if you talk you're gonna cry, that kind of sadness."


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She then said that the event left her fearing for her own children when they head off to school.

"And then you feel fear," she said. "And I think like so many parents across the country, I was thinking about sending my daughter to kindergarten today and is she safe, is she okay there, what kind of security do they have, should they have security?"

She said that those same fears would have gone through her head had she still been in the White House, "because you're thinking about what the country is experiencing, what communities are experiencing, and what you can do to help heal, help bring some calm, if you can, in that moment."

Fallon then asked her if she had seen Joe Biden's address following the shooting.

"Yes, I did," Ms Psaki said. "And I think what people saw who watched or saw clips later on was somebody who knows what it's like to lose a child and knows what it's like to have part of your soul and part of your heart ripped out, and that's what he talked about a little bit last night."

When asked if she thought new gun control policies would result from the shooting, Ms Psaki dodged answering the question directly, instead saying that "the most important thing for people to know is nobody's powerless in this moment."

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