White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday appeared to jab former President Trump for delaying the release of COVID-19 relief checks last year simply because the then-President insisted on having his name on them.
Asked during a briefing on Tuesday whether President Biden’s name will appear on the $1,400 COVID-19 relief checks like Trump demanded, Psaki replied that the administration’s priority is to expedite the payments to millions of Americans.
“Well we’re doing everything in our power to expedite the payments and not delay them, which is why the President’s name will not appear on the memo line of this round of stimulus checks,” Psaki said.
Psaki added that the COVID-19 relief checks will instead feature the signature of a yet-unnamed career official at the Bureau of Fiscal Service — a standard practice ensuring that government payments are nonpartisan.
“This is not about him, this is about the American people getting relief,” Psaki said, appearing to take aim at Trump.
Psaki went on to say that Biden didn’t consider his name on the COVID-19 relief checks “a priority or a necessary step” as the President remains focused on getting the payments into the hands of the public as quickly as possible.
Last year, Trump reportedly suggested to then-Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in private that the President’s name appear on the COVID-19 relief checks. Trump couldn’t technically be the signatory on the checks, but his name in the memo section was unprecedented.
The unprecedented move to have Trump’s name on the $1,200 COVID-19 relief checks last year delayed the delivery of them to Americans by a few days.
Last April, Trump had initially denied wanting to sign the checks when pressed on reports of his desire do so.
“No. Me sign? No,” Trump said at an April 3 briefing. “There’s millions of checks. I’m going to sign them? No. It’s a Trump administration initiative. But do I want to sign them? No.”
Trump continued to deny that he was delaying the release of the checks while touting that he is “sure people will be very happy to get a big, fat, beautiful check and my name is on it.”
Watch Psaki’s remarks below: