Watch: ABC’s Karl grills WH spokesman over ‘transparency’ pledge; ‘it wasn’t Hillary Clinton’s promise’

CORRECTION: The original headline on this post was incorrect. It should have said, “Watch: ABC’s Karl grills WH spokesman over ‘transparency’ pledge; ‘it wasn’t Hillary Clinton’s promise.'”

The conversation was heating up, before it turned icy.

ABC White House correspondent Jonathan Karl grilled White House spokesman Josh Earnest at Wednesday’s White House news briefing, repeatedly asking if the Obama administration – and the State Department in particular – is living up to the president’s oft-repeated pledge to maintain the “most transparent” administration in history.

Earnest, of course, repeatedly tried to dodge the question.

But Karl hit with hard numbers from The Associated Press, pointing out that the State Department, now under former Senator John Kerry, but previously run by the email server-owning Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, required 450 days to comply with Freedom of Information Act information requests.

“That’s 30 times longer than what the Treasury Department takes, and seven times longer than what the CIA takes,” Karl said. “Does that live up to the standards that this president has set out? … Does the State Department live up to this administration’s – this president’s – promise of transparency?”

Earnest tried to push the question off to the State Department, but Karl didn’t give up.

“It was the president’s promise, it wasn’t Hillary Clinton’s promise,” he said.

Earnest grew cold.

“Do you have anything else, sir?” he asked.

The question was answered — and not the way Earnest or his boss would have liked.


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