Friday morning’s findings were disastrous, showing inflation at a four-decade high. It was horrible enough that it exceeded expectations. President Joe Biden’s answer was predictable: he blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin. Cecilia Rouse, a White House economist, tried to make the same phony explanation the next day, but not even CNN’s Jim Sciutto would let her get away with it.

Rouse appeared on “CNN Newsroom” shortly after the data were released, when Sciutto questioned her directly, “does the White House see any relief in these numbers for Americans in the near future, and if so, when?”

Rouse was unable to respond appropriately. o, look, the president very much understands and we very much understand that we’ve got uncomfortably high inflation. What we saw in the data this month was that month on month prices increased overall, the headline CPI increased about 1 percent, and about half of that was due to food and energy, which can be almost directly tied to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.”

When confronted with Scuitto’s rebuttal, Rouse had no option but to capitulate. “Absolutely. And so, and the president understands that and so he has, like, he has emphasized he’s focused on this as part of his plan, I know this doesn’t sound like a plan, but first and foremost he respects the independence of the federal reserve.”

This is a strategy that the Biden administration has utilized before, with President Biden personally blaming Putin for rising expenses, particularly in the case of petrol prices. The White House even attempted to make the hashtag #PutinsPriceHike popular.