White House press secretary Jen Psaki was peppered with questions at Tuesday’s briefing about President Joe Biden’s comments on the Derek Chauvin trial.

Moments earlier in the Oval Office, the president — noting that the jury in the murder trial of the former Minneapolis police officer is now sequestered — said that he had spoken with the family of George Floyd late Monday, and went on to make a comment about the case.

“I’m praying the verdict is the right verdict,” Biden said. “The evidence is overwhelming in my view.”

Right at the top of Tuesday’s question-and-answer session with White House correspondents, the AP’s Jon Lemire confronted Psaki about the president’s remarks.

“What precisely did the president mean?” Lemire asked. “What is ‘overwhelming?’ And does this mean the president thinks the [former] police officer should be convicted on all counts?

The press secretary would not expand on Biden’s comments.

“The president has clearly been watching the trial closely, as many Americans have been,” Psaki said. “He was moved by his conversations with the family yesterday. He knows the family. And as somebody who has been impacted by grief himself, that was a large part of their conversation — the conversation he had just yesterday. As he also noted, the jury is sequestered, which is why he spoke to this. But I would expect he will weigh in further once there is a verdict. And I’m not going to provide additional analysis on what he meant.”

Lemire pressed.

“You’re not able to clarify what is ‘overwhelming?’” Lemire asked. “The evidence? The case presented by the prosecution?”

“We’re not going to get ahead of the outcome,” Psaki reiterated. “I expect when there’s a verdict he will have more to say.”

The AP correspondent then probed as to whether Biden’s comments could prompt unrest across the country.

“We know there are worries about unrest,” Lemire said. “Is there now concern that the president’s comments could add to that if the ‘right verdict’ is not reached?”

“Regardless of the outcome, the president has consistently called for peace,” Psaki said. “And our focus, as we are working with state and local authorities, is on providing the space for peaceful protest. And that will be consistent regardless of what the outcome of the verdict is.”

Lemire concluded by noting that Chauvin trial judge Peter Cahill condemned remarks from Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), and stating that they “may have given” the former police officer’s attorneys grounds to appeal — should the jury return a guilty verdict. The AP correspondent questioned whether Biden’s comments could have a similar impact.

“Is there concerns now that the president’s comments could be grounds for an appeal, or even possibly a mistrial?” Lemire asked.

“The jury is sequestered, which the president also noted in his comments,” Psaki said. “He certainly is not looking to influence, but he has been touched by the impact on the — hence he called the family yesterday and had that conversation.”

From there, NBC’s Kristen Welker questioned Psaki about the appropriateness of the president speaking in this fashion.

“The president has talked about the importance of an independent judiciary,” Welker said. “Why is it appropriate for him to weigh in on the verdict, even though the jury is secluded?

“I don’t think he would see it as weighing in on the verdict,” Psaki said — despite strong indications to the contrary. “He was conveying what many people are feeling across the country — which is compassion for the family, what a difficult time this is for many Americans across the country who have been watching this trial very closely.”

“He did call for ‘the right verdict’ though,” Welker countered. “Why is it ever appropriate to have any type of characterization before the jury has a say”

Psaki again punted — saying that Biden will have more to say after the jury returns its verdict.

Watch above, via CSPAN.

The post Psaki Pelted With Questions About Biden Opining on Chauvin Verdict in Testy Briefing: How is That ‘Ever Appropriate?’ first appeared on Mediaite.