BY: Follow @jlifhits
MSNBC anchor Brian Williams slipped up and called MSNBC commentator Eugene Robinson a “Pulitzer-prize winning communist” minutes after a joint press conference between President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro Monday.
“Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post, Pulitzer-prize winning communist,” Williams said and caught himself mid-sentence, “Communist, wow.”
Robinson responded to Williams’s gaffe with a bit of surprise.
“Communist! Thanks Brian,” Robinson said.
“Columnist,” Williams corrected himself. “I have that on the mind.”
Williams made clear that Robinson is a friend of MSNBC and not a communist.
“You are not, in fact, a communist–you are a friend of ours, and a Pulitzer-prize winning columnist with the Washington Post. Eugene, thank you,” Williams said.
The U.S.-Cuban press conference that occurred right before Williams’s slip-up broadcast also exhibited an awkward atmosphere.
When Cuban-American CNN reporter Jim Acosta asked Castro about political prisoners in Cuba, Castro became testy and asked for a“list” as proof.
“Just mention the list. What political prisoners?” Castro said. “Give me a name or names or when after this meeting is over, you can give me a list of political prisoners, and if we have those political prisoners they will be released before tonight ends.”
Castro also said that in order to normalize relations with America, the U.S. must return the Guantanamo Bay naval base and end its trade embargo.
As the press conference came to a close, Castro and Obama also shared an awkward handshake, where Castro lifted up Obama’s limp arm in a show of cooperation.