Josh Earnest Has Rough First White House Presser

Image: Josh Earnest Has Rough First White House Presser

Monday, 23 Jun 2014 05:25 PM

By Jason Devaney

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Josh Earnest's new job as White House Press Secretary got off to a rough start Monday at the conclusion of his first briefing.

Earnest was about to leave the podium and leave the briefing room when several reporters, including Alexis Simendinger of RealClearPolitics, questioned him about why he claimed the White House did not have any calls between President Barack Obama and other world leaders regarding the crisis in Iraq to announce.

Earlier in the briefing, Earnest said Obama had a call scheduled with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The testy exchange can be seen at Mediaite.

When Simendinger confronted Earnest about the apparent gaffe, he replied, "Well, Alexis, you don't have to get all exercised about this. But what you can do …"

"We asked you a question, you should answer the question," she said, interrupting him.

"I did."

"No, you didn't. You said, 'no calls to read out.'"

"Alexis, I was asked if the president had conversations with world leaders about the situation in Iraq."

"Oh, so should we just go around a map every day with you?"

"OK. Thanks, everybody," Earnest said, cracking a smile and nodding his head.

Earnest than walked off the podium and toward the rear door. Other reporters shouted out more questions, and one even joked about previous press secretary Jay Carney leaving him a "flak jacket."

The honeymoon, it seems, is over for Earnest, who took over for Jay Carney on Friday.

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