Mark Knoller Trolls Josh Earnest in Back-to-Back Questions

• August 26, 2015 1:30 pm


CBS reporter Mark Knoller trolled White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Wednesday, asking questions about the president’s reliance on teleprompters and ill-advised comments about opponents of the Iran Deal.

"Donald Trump said yesterday he thinks teleprompters ought to be outlawed. Is that something that would affect the president adversely?" Knoller asked.

"I’ll just—that’s a tough one to respond to," Earnest said over laughter from the press corps. He went on to say that the American public judges politicians based on substance, not their method of delivery.

President Obama has been praised for some of his prepared speeches, but tends to meander when speaking extemporaneously.

"Last one," Knoller said, lulling Earnest into a false sense of security. "President Obama said the other night that he came back from vacation feeling ‘feisty.’ How is that manifesting itself?"

"People noted that the president—both in his clean energy event in Las Vegas and the fundraiser afterwards—that the president was feeling pretty feisty," Earnest said. "That was an observation not just that the president made about himself but that others made about his comments at those two events."

"Do you mean the reference to ‘crazies?’" Knoller said, trolling hard at this point.

"Uh, that’s not exactly what I had in mind, no," Earnest said as the press corps laughed at him again.

It was reported over the weekend that Obama called opponents of the Iran Deal "crazies." Obama also previously compared Republicans opposing the deal to hardliners in Iran who were also against it, suggesting they had "common cause." Polling suggests that the majority of Americans oppose the deal, and that opposition has crossed party lines, with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) among those in the Democratic Party announcing they would vote for a resolution of disapproval.

Published under: Barack Obama, Josh Earnest