President of White House Correspondents’ Assoc. Praises Earnest, Only One Person Claps

• January 17, 2017 4:08 pm


White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest received awkward applause from one person on Tuesday after the president of the White House Correspondents' Association, Reuters reporter Jeff Mason, lauded him for his service.

During Earnest's final White House press briefing, he called on Mason to ask a question. Mason then commended Earnest for committing his time towards meeting with the press.

"Josh, first of all, on behalf of the White House Correspondents' Association, we want to thank you for your commitment to regular briefings with us," Mason said. "We haven't always agreed on everything, and there has always been some tension, which is normal between a White House and a press corps that covers it."

"We are grateful to you and your team for working with the Correspondents' Association and for your commitment to dealing with us on a daily basis, so thank you," Mason added.

Earnest thanked Mason for his words, which prompted one person offscreen to start clapping emphatically. There was a mixed reaction in response to the clapping, as several reporters turned their heads towards the clapper with cheerful and annoyed expressions on their faces.

Tuesday was Earnest's final press briefing before Sean Spicer takes over the press secretary role on Friday when President-elect Donald Trump takes the oath of office. Spicer was previously the communications director and chief strategist at the Republican National Committee.

Obama made a guest appearance at the beginning of Tuesday's press briefing to praise Earnest, but the president will hold his final press briefing on Wednesday.