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Opening Day Loss

Reporters Grill Josh Earnest After His First WH Press Briefing Ends

• June 23, 2014 2:56 pm

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New White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest received quite a bit of backlash for playing coy during the White House Press Briefing Monday afternoon. Following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Jay Carney, Earnest dodged a question and was quickly reprimanded for it.

As Earnest left the podium, RealClearPolitics reporter Alexis Simendinger told him that he had denied the White House had any calls to read out between the president and foreign leaders about the Iraq crisis, before saying that President Obama had indeed spoken with Vladimir Putin.

"You got asked earlier," Simendinger angrily pointed out to Earnest.

Earnest rudely answered, "Uh well, Alexis, you don’t have to get all exercised about this."

A reporter jumped to Simendinger’s defense. "She’s not getting exercised, she’s telling you what it is," the reporter said to Earnest.

Simendinger did not back down. "We asked you a question. You should answer the question."

"I did," Earnest defensively told her.

"No, you didn’t. You said you had no calls to read out," Simendinger responded.

Earnest attempted to clarify what he had said. "I was asked if the president had questions with world leaders about the situation in Iraq," he said.