Reporter nails Earnest on Clinton memo: ‘Forget Hillary . . . that doesn’t concern the White House at all?’

The temperature of the White House press room rose dramatically Friday, when a reporter raked chief spokesman Josh Earnest over the coals over Clinton Foundation donations.

“We now know that some $2 million in donations that came essentially from Uranium One to the Clinton Foundation that were not disclosed at the time,” ABC White House correspondent Jonathan Karl said. “Can you acknowledge that that did not live up to the standards that were expected based on the Memorandum of Understanding between Hillary Clinton and the administration?”

Earnest wasn’t interested in answering, referring Karl to the State Department. But Karl pressed further.

“But you made it clear at the time that donations were going to be made public. This is not some promise that Hillary Clinton made off to the side; this is an agreement with the White House, the president, so I’m just saying we now know $2 million in donations from Uranium One while this transaction — even aside the approval of the transaction, the fact that you had such a large donation that was not disclosed,” Karl said. “That doesn’t concern the White House at all? That lived up to the standards? Forget Hillary Clinton, for the president?”

Earnest continued to deflect.

“What is clear, as is noted in The New York Times story today, there is no evidence whatsoever, no evidence, to indicate that donations had any impact on this particular policy decision,” he said.

Clinton’s lack of disclosure violated the Memorandum of Understanding between her and the White House, Karl said.

Getting nowhere with his “evidence” argument, Earnest tried the time-worn “conservative writer” argument.

“I have been in the position where, to put it mildly, other conservative authors have launched written books based on what they purport to be serious allegations against the president of the United States,” Earnest said. “And I’m often in the position of responding to those incidents and trying to defend the president from accusations that are not rooted or accompanied by any evidence. My point is that right now, that’s what’s happening to Secretary Clinton. And there’s a spokesman that Secretary Clinton hired who can answer these questions.”

Karl continued to press.

“I’m not asking you whether Secretary Clinton sold favors from the State Department,” he said. “I’m just asking you whether these donations should have been disclosed.”

And Earnest continued to deflect.

“And that’s something Secretary Clinton’s team can talk to you about,” he said, dismissing the reporter.

One person noted on social media:

The White House press secretary’s job, apparently, is no longer to answer questions, but to deflect, deflect, deflect.


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