Psaki Won’t Answer if Egyptian Military Killing Civilians with U.S. Weapons

Jake Tapper calls out State Department spokeswoman


CNN anchor Jake Tapper called out State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki for dodging his question about whether the Egyptian military was using U.S.-supplied weapons to kill citizens during the recent crisis there, saying he didn’t want to waste the viewers’ time.

During an interview on The Lead, Psaki repeated her talking points that the violence was “deplorable” and the administration was reviewing the situation day by day, but she would not answer the question, despite Tapper’s follow-up for a direct response.

TAPPER: The U.S. has provided tens of billions in aid to the Egyptian military over the years, mostly in the form of assets, weapons and ammunition and the like. I guess the big question right now, as the world watches, is for the Americans. Are supplies that the U.S. has given Egypt now being used to kill civilians in the street?

PSAKI: Well, Jake, first let me say that what’s happening on the ground in Egypt, what we’ve seen over the past couple of days, is deplorable, is horrific. There are not enough adjectives to describe it. You’ve heard the president and the secretary describe it in that way as well. We’re obviously looking very closely at our broad relationship with Egypt. You can’t have business as usual when hundreds of civilians are being killed in the street. But we have a broad, enduring partnership and strategic relationship with Egypt that’s been going on for decades, so that’s why we’re doing this review very carefully. We’ve taken some steps to cut off certain forms of aid but we’re continuing to review day by day.

TAPPER: But are American munitions that were given by the U.S. to Egypt, are they actually tools of slaughter? Do we know that one way or the other?

PSAKI: Well, Jake, obviously we’re watching every event happening on the ground very closely. Regardless of where these tools are from, this is horrific what is happening to civilians on the ground. It certainly is not acceptable to the president, to the Secretary of State, to anybody in the administration, and we are evaluating and reviewing the events that are happening on the ground and the steps being taken by the interim government every single day.

TAPPER: I don’t want to waste your time or our viewers’, but I’ll respectfully note you’re not answering that question.