Tags: Al-Qaida | Barack Obama | ISIS/Islamic State | War on Terrorism | Paris | kosher | deli

WH Rushes to Deflect Outrage Over Obama's 'Random' Paris Deli Remark

By    |   Tuesday, 10 Feb 2015 07:21 PM

The White House scrambled to the defense Tuesday following a crush of criticism of President Barack Obama's remarks about last month's terrorist siege at a Kosher grocery in France.

Obama described the siege as one in which people "randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris."

In a testy exchange posted by ABC News, White House press secretary Josh Earnest jousted with incredulous reporters who asked why the president didn't characterize the deadly Jan. 9 attack as one that targeted Jews when he spoke with media outlet Vox on Monday.

"Does the president have any doubt that those terrorists attacked that deli because there would be Jews in that deli?" ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl asked, to which Earnest replied:

"It is clear from the terrorists and the writings that they put out afterward what their motivation was. The adverb that the president chose was used to indicate that the individuals who were killed in that terrible, tragic incident were killed not because of who they were but because of where they randomly happened to be."

"These individuals were not targeted by name," Earnest added.

"Not by name, but by religion, were they not?" Karl pressed.

"There were people other than just Jews who were in that deli," Earnest shot back.

But when Karl asked again if there was any doubt by the president that the shop was attacked because of the likelihood the terrorists would be able to kill Jews, Earnest declared: "No."

He changed his mind some hours later, taking to Twitter to admit the attack was, in fact, aimed at Jews.



A GOP leadership aide swiftly criticized Earnest’s fumble, Politico reports.

"Refusing to admit that the kosher deli in Paris was specifically targeted because it is a gathering place for Jews is just one reason why many people don’t trust the Obama administration when it comes to defending Israel," the unnamed aide told Politico.

At a subsequent State Department press briefing, spokeswoman Jen Psaki — speaking about the exchange between Earnest and Karl — simply deflected a question about the terrorist motivation, Politico reports.

"I don’t think we’re going to speak on behalf of French authorities and what they believe was the situation at play here," she said, though she, too, later tweeted her agreement the attack was anti-Semitic.



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The White House scrambled to the defense Tuesday following a crush of criticism of President Barack Obama's remarks about last month's terrorist siege at a Kosher grocery in France. Obama described the siege as one in which people "randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli...
Paris, kosher, deli, Jews, Obama, random, anti-Semitic, Josh Earnest, Jen Psaki
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2015-21-10
Tuesday, 10 Feb 2015 07:21 PM
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