CNN's Jim Acosta and White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest had a spirited exchange Tuesday over the IRS' lost emails in the conservative targeting scandal, with Acosta quipping it sounded like the classic "dog ate my homework" excuse.
"I think the problem is despite all of this, we have seen an unwillingness–" Earnest began.
"Doesn't that sound like the dog ate my homework, when you have two years of missing emails?" Acosta asked. "On the face of it, it doesn't sound credible."
Earnest played the partisan card, saying if one only listened to Republicans, a skewed picture of the controversy would emerge.
"The fact of the matter is 24,000 emails from that time period have been reconstructed and produced to Congress," Earnest said. "Again, because of our commitment to cooperating with Congressional oversight in this matter. That's what we've been focused on, so again I understand why your eyebrows are raised when you see Republicans on Capitol Hill suggesting there are two years of missing emails. It's not true. A large chunk of those emails have already been provided to Republicans in Congress."
Earnest didn't seem to comprehend that "a large chunk" doesn't qualify as "all." Like his boss, who told Bill O'Reilly in February there was not a "smidgeon of corruption" at the IRS, Earnest dismissed the controversy, again calling the charges "conspiracy theories."
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R., Ohio) specifically addressed White House cooperation on the IRS matter Tuesday, saying the Obama administration hadn't done a "damn thing to help us get to the truth of what really happened."
Earnest's first full day in place of Jay Carney was Monday, and it didn't go terrifically either.